Existing single-family home sales dropped 2.9 percent from June to July, though sales were still the third best on record, the National Association of Realtors reported today. Home sales reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.72 million units in July, down from 6.92 million units in June. The seasonally adjusted annual rate projects the monthly sales total for a 12-month period. The July sales numbers were up 8.6 percent over July 2003, the association also reported. David Lereah, chief economist at the association, said, "Prior to this year, the July sales pace would have been a real eye-popper. The fact is – it remains so. The present level of home sales activity is considerably above last year's record, and the new benchmark we'll set in 2004 is a significant contributor to overall U.S. economic growth." According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 6.06 percent in July, down from 6.29 percent in J...
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