WASHINGTON – Sales of existing homes rose 2.7 percent in June to a record pace as home prices soared 14.7 percent from a year ago, the biggest jump in nearly 25 years, the National Association of Realtors (search) said.
Sales of previously owned homes surged to a seasonally adjusted 7.33 million unit annual rate last month from May's upwardly revised 7.14 million unit clip, the NAR said. That figure includes both single-family homes and condominiums.
Analysts had expected overall sales to increase to a 7.15 million unit annual pace.
The national median home price rose to $219,000, also a record, the report showed.
Single-family home sales climbed 2.4 percent to a record 6.37 million unit annual rate from the 6.22 million unit rate in May. Condo sales hit a fourth consecutive record, up 4.5 percent to a 960,000 unit rate from a 919,000 unit pace in May.
"Obviously, the housing market is hot right now," said David Lereah, the group's chief economist.
Low mortgage rates (search) have supported robust housing activity for more than four years. While many economists earlier forecast some slowing in home sales this year, many have now bumped estimates higher and now see 2005 striking a record.
In fact, Lereah said he would likely push his 2005 forecasts higher for total existing home sales and median home prices.
Mortgage rates in June fell to 5.58 percent from 5.72 percent in May, the trade group said, citing mortgage finance company Freddie Mac (FRE).
Inventories rose 3.8 percent to 2.653 million, representing 4.3 months' worth, the group said.