US sales of existing homes rise

February 24th, 2011 - 12:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Feb 24 (IANS/EFE) Sales of existing homes rose 2.7 percent in the US last month as prices dipped to their lowest level since April 2002, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said Wednesday.”The uptrend in home sales is consistent with improvements in the economy and jobs, which are helping boost consumer confidence,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said.

“The extremely favourable housing affordability conditions are a big factor, but buyers have been constrained by unnecessarily tight credit,” he said.

January’s increase in sales of previously owned homes was the fifth in six months, NAR said.

The pace of home sales is now above the level reached last spring before a slowdown attributed to the expiration of the tax credit for first-time buyers.

But home prices remain under pressure because of the high number of foreclosures. The median sale price last month, $158,800, was 3.7 percent down from January 2010 and the lowest in almost nine years.

–IANS/EFE
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