Existing Home Sales Drop in July to Lowest Level Since January 2004

Total housing inventory levels rose 3.2% at the end of July to 3.86 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 7.3-month supply at the current sales pace.

Total existing home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – dropped 4.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of 6.33 million units in July from a downwardly revised pace of 6.60 million June, and were 11.2% below the 7.13 million-unit level in July 2005, reports National Association of Realtors. That was the lowest level since January 2004.

The latest snapshot of housing activity was weaker than analysts anticipated. Economists were forecasting the pace of sales to fall to 6.55 million.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $230,000 in July, up 0.9 percent from July 2005 when the median was $228,000. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 6.76 percent in July, up from 6.68 percent in June; the rate was 5.70 percent in July 2005. Last week, the 30-year rate declined to 6.52 percent.

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