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U.S. home sales move at faster pace -- a sign of recovery

September 05, 2012|By Alejandro Lazo
  • A pending home sale in Palo Alto.
A pending home sale in Palo Alto. (Paul Sakuma / Associated…)

Homes in the U.S. sold at the fastest clip in more than a year last month, new data show, a testament to the strength of the housing recovery this year.

The median time a home was listed for sale was 69 days in July, a 29.6% plunge from the same month just a year ago, according to data from the National Assn. of Realtors.

Home buyers, agents and other professionals have been complaining for months that a lack of inventory has become a major force in the market this year -- leading to bidding wars in some cases.

"As inventory has tightened, homes have been selling more quickly," Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the group said in a prepared statement. "A notable shortening of time on market began this spring, and this has created a general balance between home buyers and sellers in much of the country. This equilibrium is supporting sustained price growth, and homes that are correctly priced tend to sell quickly, while those that aren't often languish on the market."

The new measure shows that the typical amount of time it takes to sell a home is back to historic norms for so-called traditional sellers, in other words sellers whose homes are neither foreclosures or short sales.

At the end of July, there was a supply of about 6 1/2 months on the market, compared with a supply of about nine months and just over two weeks for the same month last year.

ALSO:

Pending home sales rise in July

Home prices jump in 20 major U.S. cities

Consumer confidence up in August to three-month high, survey says

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