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Existing home sales improve

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Posted: 3 pm ET

Low mortgage rates and home prices did their job of luring homebuyers, according to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which showed a rise of 7.7 percent in existing home sales in August. That's the biggest rise since March and 18.6 percent more than August 2010 sales figures.

The increase was a surprise: Economists in a Reuters poll said they expected home sales to rise only 1.4 percent in August.

The NAR also attributed the gains to the higher cost of renting, which is driving more people to buy. Median home price was 5 percent lower than a year ago, according to the NAR.

The good news isn't enough to convince anyone that we're in for a housing turnaround anytime soon, however, according to Reuters. Most housing experts see little change in the outlook for the immediate future and many potential buyers are waiting to see if prices continue to fall.

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