The housing market continues to struggle, propped up by existing-home sales but hamstrung by foreclosures and weak prices.  The National Association of Realtors reported a 2.4 percent increase in sales of existing single family homes, townhouses, condos, and co-ops in May—the “first back-to-back monthly gain since September 2005.”

But existing-home sales were off 3.6 percent from May 2008 and were spurred by low mortgage rates (which proceeded to rise) and a shot in the arm from a first-time buyer tax credit. Meanwhile, sales of new one-family homes in May slipped 0.6 percent from April and 32.8 percent from May 2008.

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