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Reflecting a greater share of sales to first-time buyers, the National Association of Realtors released a report on Thursday showing an unexpected increase in U.S. existing home sales in the month of June.
NAR said existing home sales climbed 1.1 percent to an annual rate of 5.57 million in June from a downwardly revised 5.51 million in May.
Economists had expected existing home sales to dip to 5.48 million from the 5.53 million originally reported for the previous month.
With the unexpected increase, existing home sales reached their highest level since hitting 5.79 million in February of 2007.
NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said, "Existing sales rose again last month as more traditional buyers and fewer investors were able to close on a home despite many competitive areas with unrelenting supply and demand imbalances."
"Sustained job growth as well as this year's descent in mortgage rates is undoubtedly driving the appetite for home purchases," he added.
The report also said the median existing-home price was $247,700 in June, up 3.7 percent from $238,900 in May and up 4.8 percent from $236,300 in June of 2015.
Additionally, NAR said there were 2.12 million existing homes available for sale at the end of June, down 0.9 percent from 2.14 million at the end of May.
The unsold inventory represents 4.6 months of supply at the current sales pace compared to 4.7 months of supply in the previous month.
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