Home sales up!

Sales of existing homes were up 7.8 percent from July to August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.82 million, helping boost the national median home price for the sixth month in a row, the National Association of Realtors Said today.  Looking back a year, home sales increased 9.3 percent in August. At $187,400, the national median price for all housing types including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops was up 9.5 percent from a year ago.

NAR is now forecasting that despite tight credit conditions, 2012 home sales will be up 8 to 10 percent from last year. If most qualified buyers could obtain financing, NAR projects home sales would be about 10 to 15 percent stronger.

“The strengthening housing market is occurring even with difficult mortgage qualifying conditions, which is (a) testament to the sizable stored-up housing demand that accumulated in the past five years,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, in a statement. “The housing market is steadily recovering with consistent increases in both home sales and median prices.”

NAR is now forecasting that despite tight credit conditions, 2012 home sales will be up 8 to 10 percent from last year. If most qualified buyers could obtain financing, NAR projects home sales would be about 10 to 15 percent stronger. AllU.S.regions saw existing-home sales and prices swell in August from a year ago — except the West, where sales were even — with theMidwestleading the way with a 17.9 percent year-over-year increase to 1.12 million units. The median price in theMidwestalso rose in August from a year ago, up 7.8 percent to $152,400.

In the West, where sales remained even on an annual basis, median prices jumped 16.3 percent from last August to $242,000, the largest yearly proportional price jump of any region, with the report noting low inventory being a factor in the increase.  The annual pace of sales grew in the South and Northeast, too, up 11.1 percent and 8.6 percent, respectively. Median prices rose as well on a yearly basis in the regions, up 6.5 percent in the South and 0.6 percent in the Northeast.

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