U.S. Existing Home Sales At Near Record

Across the U.S., sales of exiting homes in August reached their second-highest rate on record. Total sales of single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums and co-ops were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 7.29 million last month, 2% higher than July's rate of 7.15 million, the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported on September 26. The record rate, in June of this year, was 7.35 million.

"With a general background of growing population and favorable affordability conditions, home sales are staying at very healthy levels," says David Lereah, NAR's chief economist. "Housing inventory improved in August but remains tight, and we have some way to go before we get into a range of balance between home buyers and sellers. As a result, we'll continue to see above-normal home price appreciation for the foreseeable future."

The national median price of all types of existing homes was $220,000 in August, up 15.8% from $190,000 in August 2004, the realtors association said.

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