Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

Home sales show third month of gains

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Existing-home sales rose for a third month in a row in June, and prices may stabilize in many areas by the end of the year if inventories continue to decline, the National Association of Realtors said today.Sales of resale homes, including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 3.6 percent from May to June, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million units -- virtually the same as a year ago, NAR said.At that rate of sales, the 3.82 million homes on the market represented a 9.4-month supply, down from 9.8 months in May. A six-month supply of homes is generally considered a healthier balance of supply and demand, but the "raw inventory" total, or number of homes on the market, is down 14.9 percent from a year ago.A Wall Street Journal analysis of housing fundamentals in 28 major real estate markets during the second quarter showed considerable variation in inventory, ranging from a high of 18.1 months in Chicago to just 2.7 months in Sacramento,...