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NAR: Sales rise for 4th straight month

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Sales of previously owned homes rose for the fourth straight month in July -- a streak that hasn't occurred since June 2004, the National Association of Realtors reported today. The pace of resale home sales rose 7.2 percent from June to July and 5 percent compared to July 2008, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.24 million units -- this monthly rise is a record for association data dating back to 1999. The seasonally adjusted annual rate is a projection of a monthly sales total over a 12-month period, adjusted to account for typically seasonally fluctuations in sales activity. The median resale home price dropped 15.1 percent in July compared to the same month last year, and the association reported that distressed homes "continue to weigh down the median price." Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the association, said in a statement that demand is strong with falling prices in some market areas. "Because price-to-income ratios have fallen below histor...