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Freddie Mac: Sales bottomed in Q1

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Freddie Mac analysts think home sales bottomed in the first three months of 2009 at an annual rate of 4.46 million per year, and will post steady gains each quarter to reach a pace of 5.85 million sales per year by the fourth quarter of 2010.Sales of both new and existing detached single-family homes are expected to bottom this year at 4.72 million -- down 37 percent from the 7.46 million transactions closed in 2005 -- before rebounding to 5.5 million next year, Freddie Mac said in its July 2009 Economic and Housing Market Outlook.Through May 2009, Florida has posted nine consecutive months of growth in sales, and California has posted 14 months of growth in a row, the report noted."Many of these sales, of course, are distressed sales, consisting of short sales and sales of foreclosed properties," the report said. "Nevertheless, that indicates that there are ready buyers at current prices, and these distressed sales do clear out the stock of for-sale homes."The cons...