Industry News

Real estate demand still strong

First-quarter home sales near record levels

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An improving economy, low mortgage interest rates and a large underlying demand for housing kept total state existing-home sales near record levels in the first quarter. Forty-two states and the District of Columbia experienced sales increases in comparison with the first quarter of 2003, according to the National Association of Realtors. NAR's latest report on sales of previously owned single-family homes, condominiums and co-operatives showed that total sales rose by double-digit rates in 22 states and the District of Columbia in the first quarter of this year compared to the same quarter in 2003. Seven states reported generally modest declines in the annual rate of sales activity from a year ago, while complete data for one state, Vermont, was not available. Nationwide, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of total existing home sales reached 7.14 million units in the first quarter, the third highest on record, up 7.2 percent from a pace of 6.66 million units in the first quarter o...