One-Family Home Sales Up in May

WASHINGTON -- Sales of existing single-family homes rose 6% in May, bolstered by affordable mortgage rates, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday.

The increase was the fourth straight monthly improvement. "We are very encouraged by last month's home sales activity," said Harley E. Rouda, the realty group's president. "Low mortgage rates and increased consumer confidence are fueling momentum in the housing market."

When adjusted for seasonal factors, the annual sales rate was 3.51 million existing single-family homes, compared with 3.31 million units in April. The sales pace increased in all regions except the Northeast, which posted a slight decline.

Mr. Rouda said most home buyers are choosing fixed-rate mortgages - which continue to carry single-digit interest rates - to finance their purchases.

The median home sale price was $99,700 in May, 4.7% higher than the year-earlier median of $95,200, and 0.6% less than the April median of $100,300.

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