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What Housing Slump? Existing Homes are Flying off the Lots

Look no further than the red-hot real estate market for a sign the economy is improving. The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday that existing home sales increased 2.4 percent to an annual rate of 5.15 million units. That marked the fourth straight month the pace of home resales accelerated. Home resales dropped last summer after the Federal Reserve signaled it would dial back its monetary stimulus for the economy, pushing mortgage interest rates higher.The Fed, however, ended up keeping a bond-buying program running at full throttle for longer than investors expected, and mortgage rates edged lower again. This, coupled with robust job growth this year, helped push home resales in July to their highest level since September 2013. The number of homes on the market rose to 2.37 million in July, the highest level since August 2012 and 5.8 percent more than in July of last year.The median sale price was $222,900, 4.9 percent higher than in July 2013.

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IN DEPTH

- Reuters