US home sales fall, prices stable in June

Yo Joe touched off a rambunctious debate on the direction of home prices yesterday when he quoted Angelo Mozilo, the Chairman of Countrywide Financial, who said prices were falling at a nearly unprecedented rate (excluding the Great Depression).

But today, industry trade group the National Association of Realtors reports that US housing prices are up ever so slightly. No one is likely to do handsprings over the .3 percent June increase in the median price of a resale, especially since sales fell 3.8 percent from May to June, and were down 11.4 percent from June 2006 – but the direction was (if ever so slightly) up.

“Homebuyers have been getting mixed signals about the housing market, which is causing some of them to hesitate,” NAR senior economist Lawrence Yun said in a news release.

Let’s throw this in the mix: existing-home sales in the Midwest declined 2.8 percent from May to June, and they were 8.1 percent below the rate recorded for June 2006. The median home price in the Midwest was $171,700 in June, which is 1.5 percent below the same month a year earlier.

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