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First Cut: Existing home sales strong for single-family in July

Sales of existing homes rose 2.5% to 5.42 million units (SAAR) in July from 5.29 million units in June (previously 5.27 million).

The increase was entirely due to sales of single-family homes were were up 2.8% to 4.84 million units while sales of multi-unit homes were flat at 580,000.

The supply of homes available for sale narrowed to 4.2 months in July after 4.4 months in June. The underlying trend has been much the same for the past four or five months. Current homeowners have been bringing some supply on the market as interest rates have fallen and brought new buyers find home affordability attractive.


Buyers in the market are seeing some improved power in negotiating price. Some of the 1.6% decrease in the median prices in July to $280,800 is from sales of smaller units, but some is from getting sellers to reduce prices. The average home price was down 1.3% in July to $317,100. However, compared to a year-ago, the median price was up 4.3% and the average price was up 3.1%.

Sales were up in three of four regions. The Midwest and South saw similar gains at up 1.6% and up 1.8%, respectively. The West had a huge bounce of up 8.3%, while the Northeast dipped 2.9%.

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