Existing-Home Sales Sink to Record Low

Existing home sales dropped to a record low in July"Depressing" doesn't quite capture the spirit of this month's existing-home sales report. According to the National Association of Realtors' latest figures, home resales sank 27.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.83 million units in July, down from June's downwardly revised 5.26 million units. Bleaker still, sales are 25.5 percent below the 5.14-million-unit level in July 2009. This marks the lowest sales level since the NAR began filing the report in 1999. Experts had been anticipating a terrible performance, due in major part to the end of the homebuyer tax credit, as well as alarming dropoffs in local sales figures. There is, however, a sliver of light. The national median existing-home price for all housing types went up 0.7 percent to $182,600 in July. Additionally, annual sales are still expected to reach 5 million in 2010, thanks to a strong first half. This is actually higher than the 20-year average of 4.9 million, and well above the 30-year rate of 4.4 million. But with fears of a double-dip recession brimming, sellers would do well to brace for the worst.

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