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Existing home sales up 3.4 percent


The National Association of Realtors said today that for the first time in three months, sales of existing homes increased.

The association’s monthly figures, which measure purchases of previously owned homes, increased 3.4 percent in April, a sign the housing industry could be stabilizing, according to Bloomberg. 

With unemployment slowly decreasing and mortgage rates at record lows, more people are purchasing homes. Last week, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.79 percent, the lowest since Freddie Mac started keeping track of rates in 1971.

“People are becoming more confident about job prospects and about taking on mortgages,” said Millan Mulraine, senior U.S. strategist at TD Securities Inc., in an interview with Bloomberg. “This is all positive for the economy.”

Demand for housing is also up, according to Bloomberg, shown by an increase of 10 percent in the median home price from April of last year. The median price of an existing home is now $177,400. 

A survey of economists by Bloomberg estimated that new home sales also rose in April by 2.6 percent. The Commerce Department will release actual numbers tomorrow.

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