US real estate looking healthier

The sale of existing homes in the US rose slightly in July, as did house prices, showing that the worst of the housing crisis may be coming to an end in the world’s largest economy.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said that existing home sales rose by 2.3% from June to July, meaning that 4.47 million units were sold over the last year. The average house price nationwide was $187,300 in July, up 9.4% on prices from the same month last year.

Job creation, low borrowing costs and a small supply of properties for sale have been providing the foundations for price gains within the market. Regionally, existing home sales rose in the Northeast by 7.4%, in the Midwest by 2% and in the South by 2.3%, while sales in the West remained unchanged during July.

The length of time houses are on the market is also decreasing as NAR president Moe Veissi explained. “Correctly priced homes, regardless of price range, are selling quickly these days. A third of homes purchased in July were on the market for less than a month, and only 21% were on the market for six months or longer.” According to the NAR, house sales in 2013 are likely to reach five million.

Meanwhile rents increased nationally in July also, with 70% of the metropolitan areas surveyed experiencing rental increases from June to July. Chicago, Providence in Rhode Island and Baltimore experienced the highest increases posting double digit rises of around 12%. This is mainly as a result of continuing high foreclosure levels in these areas, which has boosted rental demand.

Nationally the number of foreclosures continued to decline, however, with 5.7 out of every 10,000 homes in the country being foreclosed. That was down from 6.5 out of every 10,000 homes in June.

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