US existing home sales rose 2.0 pct in May

WASHINGTON - The pace of U.S. existing home sales rose in May to a 4.99 million-unit annual rate, the National Association of Realtors said in a report on Thursday that slightly beat analyst expectations.

By (Reuters)

Published: Thu 26 Jun 2008, 9:37 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 1:13 PM

Economists polled by Reuters were expecting home resales to rise to a 4.93 million-unit pace, from the 4.89 rate initially reported for May.

The inventory of homes for sale shrank by 1.4 percent to 4.49 million homes, or a 10.8 months' supply at the current sales pace. Meanwhile, the median national home price declined 6.3 percent from a year ago to $208,600.

U.S. Treasury debt slightly pared gains after the data's release.

The data came one day after a report that showed sales of newly built single-family homes fell 2.5 percent in May to an annual rate of 512,000 units, which was slightly ahead of expectations but was down more than 40 percent from a year ago.

The housing market has been shaken for months by a credit crunch and a wave of failing home loans that have spooked lenders and prospective buyers.

The disappointing new homes data is nonetheless in line with the pace of the last eight months, which have seen sales hover around the 5 million level, said Paul Bishop, a senior economist with the National Association of Realtors.

"Sales remain fairly flat at the 5 million mark," he said.

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