Housing Market Shows ‘Sustainable’ Improvement

Housing-Market-ImprovementHome sales and prices are ticking up, despite a sluggish economy. In fact, the rebound has economists predicting that housing will likely add to economic growth this year for the first time in seven years.

Existing-home sales increased 2.3 percent in July and are up more than 10 percent compared to year-ago levels, the National Association of REALTORS® reported last week. What’s more, home prices soared 9.4 percent in July compared to last year at that time—to $187,300—marking the largest price gain in six-and-a-half years.

New-home sales also have been inching up, rising 3.6 percent in July and up more than 25 percent compared to last July, the Commerce Department recently reported.

The "evidence that the housing market is recovering…is fairly clear across a wide range of reports," John Ryding, an economist at RDQ Economics, told the Associated Press. "[Housing] is now becoming a small positive for the economic outlook."

Economists say the rebounds appear to be sustainable and will likely climb even higher, particularly with modest economic growth, future job gains, ultra low mortgage rates, and housing affordability hovering near record highs.

Source: “Rise in U.S. Home Sales Reflects Steady Improvement,” The Associated Press

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