Previously-Owned Home Sales Improved in May

Chicago–After declining for two months, sales of previously owned homes grew 2 percent in May, the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors said Thursday.Single-family home sales increased 1.6 percent; sales of apartments and condominiums rose by 5.5 percent, according to the New York Times. In the Midwest, sales increased 5.5 percent; in the Northeast, sales grew 4.6 percent. Sales increased 2 percent in the West but fell 0.5 percent in the South.Home prices for single-family and multifamily homes also rose. The median home price increased from $201,200 in April to $208,600 in May. Compared to a year ago, sales were 16 percent lower in May. Condominium sales were 25 percent lower. Median home prices were 6.3 percent less than in May 2007.The current housing inventory is 11 months at the current sales rate, according to the NAR.Although foreclosures have continued to weaken the housing market, NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said some troubled markets–such as Sacramento, Sarasota, Fla., Battle Creek, Mich. and California’s San Fernando Valley and Monterey County–had improved.