Existing Home Sales Rise 2.3 Percent on Pent-Up Demand

U.S. existing home sales rose 2.3 percent in July to 4.47 million from 4.37 million in the previous month but missed analysts’ estimates, according to the National Association of Realtors.

“It’s pretty much in line with market forecasts,” said Omer Esiner, chief analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange. “It’s encouraging to see the inventory of unsold homes come down and median price continue to rise, though I think there are technical issues involved in that. The homes that are selling tend to be higher in price, which is skewing that a bit.”Monthly sales increased in every region but the West, where housing inventory is tight. Sales were just below analysts’ expectations of a 4.52 million-unit rate.“Mortgage interest rates have been at record lows this year while rents have been rising at faster rates,” said Lawrence Yun, the association’s chief economist. “Combined, these factors are helping to unleash a pent-up demand.”

Nationwide, the median price for a home resale was $187,300 in July, 9.4 percent higher than in the same month a year earlier.

The report’s embargo, which was set to lift at 10 a.m. EST, was broken about 30 minutes before when a reporter at Bloomberg gained access to an invisible computer link from the association and Tweeted the data early.

The association’s chief economist said there will be an investigation into how this link was accessed.

By: Reuters With CNBC.com