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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales Still Near Record in August
by Tom Moeller September 26, 2005

The National Association of Realtors reported that with a 2.0% m/m rise in August to 7.29 million, total existing home sales recovered nearly all of the prior month's downwardly revised 2.7% decline. Consensus expectations had been for 7.12M sales.

Single-family sales rose a similar 1.9% to 6.35 million while condo & co-op sales increased 2.2% to 940,000 (14.6% y/y). The data cover sales closed in the latest and previous months, and contrast to the new home sales data which count sales at the signing of a contract.

The median price of an existing single-family home increased 1.7% to $219,400 (16.2% y/y) following a downwardly revised 0.5% dip in July.Prices are not seasonally adjusted. Prices tend to soften following the peak Spring-Summer selling season.

By region, single family home sales rose everywhere except in the South where they were unchanged (7.3% y/y) for the second consecutive month.Out West single family sales rose 7.7% y/y, in the Midwest sales rose 5.8% y/y and in the Northeast sales rose 4.9% y/y.

Housing Markets and Demographics from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco is available here.

The latest release from the National Association of Realtors is available here.

Existing Home Sales (000, AR) Aug July Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Total Home Sales 7,290 7,150 7.8% 6,723 6,170 5,653
  Single Family Home Sales 6,350 6,230 6.9% 5,913 5,441 4,995
Single Family Median Home Price ($,000) $219.4 $215.7 16.2% $182.8 $169.1 $157.6
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