• US stock market daily report (September 21, 2015, Monday)

    With some buyers potentially put off by higher prices of previously owned homes, the month of August marked the first decline of existing-home sales in four months.

    The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said Monday that sales of existing-homes fell by 4.8% to an annual rate of 5.31 million during August, from a slightly revised 5.58 million in July - a number that reflects how many homes would be sold in a year, if they were purchased at the same rate as in August.

    During August, first-time buyers of existing-homes accounted for 32% of sales, a sharp increase compared to July. First-time buyers of existing-homes during normal times account for nearly 40% of all existing-home sales.

    Investors purchasing existing-homes during August represented 12% of sales, down from a post-recession high of 25%.

    A sign that a record burst of foreclosures after the Great Recession has largely run its course, sales of distressed properties for the month of August were just 7% of the total.

    Because of a relatively thin supply of existing-homes for sale, sales are unlikely to return to pre-recession highs any time soon.

    For the month, some 2.29 million homes - down 1.7% from a year earlier - were on the market, which represents 5.2 months of supply, based on current sales trends.
    Median price of existing homes held at a pricy $228,700 during August, due to such low inventories. Compared to August 2014, prices for existing homes for sales have risen 4.7%. Even though prices tapered off in August, they have risen 4.7% from the same month in 2014, putting a squeeze on some would be home buyers.

    Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the NAR, "We continue to experience a tight inventory situation.”

    Low mortgage interest rates and a steady influx of new jobs that’s given more people the financial means to buy a home, helped existing-home sales hit a post-recession high during July.

    Existing-home sales over the past 12 months have risen 6.2%, leading experts to believe the demand will remain strong well into 2016 even though interest rates are expected to rise.

    Contributed by Millennium Traders
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