Sustainable Recovery? Existing-Home Sales Keep Winning Streak Alive

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The real estate market continues to show signs of improvement from the housing bubble collapse. Despite a slow start to the year, existing-home sales have now climbed higher for four consecutive months. In fact, sales last month beat expectations and reached their fastest pace of the year.

The National Association of Realtors¬†announced Thursday that total existing-home sales — completed transactions of single-family homes, town homes, condos, and co-ops — increased 2.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.15 million units in July compared to a slightly downwardly revised 5.03 million units in June.

Sales easily beat expectations. On average, economists expected sales to decline toward a pace of 5 million units in July. Earlier this year, sales missed estimates for seven consecutive months. Although sales were impressive last month, they remain 4.3 percent below the 5.38 million unit level a year earlier. This is the ninth consecutive month that sales were below year-ago levels.