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U.S. Existing Home Sales Jump More Than Expected In May

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With purchasing power bolstered by falling mortgage rates, the National Association of Realtors released a report on Friday showing a bigger than expected jump in U.S. existing home sales in the month of May.

NAR said existing home sales surged up by 2.5 percent to an annual rate of 5.34 million in April, while revised data showed existing home sales in April were unchanged at a rate of 5.21 million.

Economists had expected existing home sales to increase by 1.2 percent to a rate of 5.25 million from the 5.19 million originally reported for the previous month.

"The purchasing power to buy a home has been bolstered by falling mortgage rates, and buyers are responding," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

The report said the median existing home price for all housing types was $277,700 in May, up 4 percent from $266,900 in April and up 4.8 percent from $265,100 in May of 2018.

Total housing inventory increased to 1.92 million existing homes available for sale at the end of May, representing 4.3 months of supply at the current sales pace.

NAR said single-family home sales spiked by 2.6 percent to an annual rate of 4.75 million, while existing condominium and co-op sales jumped by 1.7 percent to a rate of 590,000.

Next Tuesday, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release a separate report on new home sales in the month of May.

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