U.S. existing home sales rise to 6-1/2 year high

By Qiong (June) Zhang61 Comments


U.S. home resales hit a 6-1/2 year high in August as buyers flocked back to the market to lock in cheap borrowing costs amid rising mortgage rates, a signal of continued strength in the housing market recovery.

The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday existing home sales increased 1.7% to an annual rate of 5.48 million units last month.

The Federal Reserve cited tighter financial conditions as one reason for its decision this week not to taper its stimulus program aimed at supporting growth, a surprise to investors and economists who had expected it to scale back bond-buying. Slower asset purchases would have pushed mortgage rates even higher.

The months’ supply remained below the 6.0 months that is normally considered as a healthy balance between supply and demand. The U.S. housing market had been impacted by tight supplies in some parts of the country.

Investors bought 17% of homes in August, with first-time buyers accounting for 28% of the transactions.


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