Existing home sales in August exceed expectations

The National Association of Realtors reported recently that the sales of existing homes rose nearly 8% in August (that’s 4.82 million homes), the highest level since May 2010.  This number exceeded economists’ expectations at 4.5 million. Foreclosures and short sales accounted for 22% of August sales, selling at a discount of 19% below market value for foreclosures, short sales at 13% below. The median home price in the Western United States rose to $242,000, up 16.3% from August 2011.

While some economists think the existing home sales numbers are not improving fast enough, economists in a survey expect housing prices to continually rise in the next four years.