U.S. home sales drop 5% in June

July 22, 2010 LA Times Alejandro Lazo

Sales of previously owned homes in the U.S. fell 5.1% in June, a national trade group said Thursday.

Although that’s a drop from the prior month, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.37 million units was a 9.8% increase from June 2009.

Many economists are expecting sales to wane in coming months after the expiration of a federal tax credit of up to $8,000 expired April 30. Buyers who qualified for the credit still have until Sept. 30 to close their deals, and that will likely affect the data as sales are counted when deals close.

“Broadly speaking, sales closed after the home-buyer tax credit will be significantly lower compared to the credit-induced spring surge,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for National Assn. of Realtors. “Only when jobs are created at a sufficient pace will home sales return to sustainable, healthy levels.”

A total housing inventory of 3.99 million previously owned homes remained available for sale at the end of June, a 2.5% increase from the prior month. That represents an 8.9-month supply at the current sales pace. 

The national median home price for all housing types was $183,700 in June, a 1% increase from June 2009.

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