Existing-home sales fell to 5.08 million in June, lower than what analysts expected, according to new data released by the National Association of Realtors on Monday. Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, dropped 1.2 percent from May's revised figure of 5.14 million.
Briefing.com's consensus of analyst forecasts estimated that sales of previously owned U.S. homes would rise to 5.28 million in June, slightly up from May's 5.27 million.
Still, sales have remained above levels from the previous year, and median prices show seven straight months of double-digit gains, on a year-over-year basis. June's figure is 15.2 percent higher than the 4.41 million-unit level in June 2012, indicating that there is enough momentum in the market, even with higher interest rates.
"Affordability conditions remain favorable in most of the country, and we're still dealing with a large pent-up demand," NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said. "However, higher mortgage interest rates will bite into high-cost regions of California, Hawaii and the New York City metro area market."
The survey, which is also referred to as home resales, measures the change in the number of existing residential homes sold during the previous month, excluding new construction. Existing homes make up the majority of total sales and, therefore, tend to have more impact than new home sales.
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It's a leading indicator of economic health, because the sale of a home affects multiple parties, including financing banks and brokers. Although it is monthly data, it is reported in an annualized format and is considered good for currency when better than forecast, according to ForexFactory.com