Unlike sales of new homes, which unexpectedly grew in April, sales of existing homes sagged last month. Sales of single-family houses, townhouses, condominiums and co-ops collected fell 2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.76 million units in April, the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported on May 25. March sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.9 million units. In April 2005, the sales rate was 7.17 million units.
"Higher interest rates are slowing home sales, but we see this as another sign of a soft landing for the housing sector, which remains at historically high levels," says David Lereah, NAR's chief economist.