Existing-home sales rose a second month in a row during May, but prices again fell sharply, threatening a delay to a housing sector recovery. Home resales increased by 2.4% to a 4.77 million annual rate from 4.66 million in April, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. The NAR originally reported April sales rose 2.9% to 4.68 million.  Of the 4.77 million homes actually sold in May, about 33% were foreclosures and short sales. While elevated, that figure is lower than the 45%-to-50% range earlier this year. Distressed property sales have pushed prices lower, year over year. The median price for an existing home last month was $173,000, down 16.8% from $207,900 in May 2008.”We need to have increased sales to stabilize prices,” NAR economist Lawrence Yun said.
By Jeff Bater, June 24, 2009 WSJ

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