Home Sales Rose in July, But Prices Didn't Follow

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The U.S. Department of Commerce announced yesterday that residential home sales throughout the U.S. rose 3.6% in July over home sales in June. The July sales rate matches the rate seen in May, which was the highest rate seen in just over two years. The sales, estimated at 372,000 homes, are also 25.3% more than July home sales in 2011, which saw only an estimated 297,000 residential home sales.

While this is good news for the housing market and the economy as a whole, those selling their home were not helped by a similar rise in home prices. The currently low mortgage rates, along with inexpensive home prices have allowed many new homeowners to enter the market at a low cost.

The Commerce Department estimates that the average sale price of a new residential house was $263,200 in July, which is a slight drop from June's estimate of $266,900. They estimate that 142,000 new houses were up for sale at the end of July, which is enough to last 4.6 months at the current sales rate.

The Associated Press is reporting that housing stocks rose yesterday following the Commerce Department's announcement, though they still managed to end the day slightly down, along with the rest of the market.

New Commerce Department home sales estimates for the month of August can be expected on Wednesday, September 26.

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