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Wednesday 03rd of June 2009
January 26, 2009

Americans take advantage of lower house prices


by Kay Murchie
”Americans

Figures from the National Association of Realtors have revealed a surprise rise in US home sales in December, as buyers took advantage of lower house prices.

The organisation said sales of existing homes rose 6.5% to an annual rate of 4.74 million, from 4.45 million in November.

According to the National Association of Realtors, for 2008 overall, sales declined 13.1% to 4.91 million units, the worst year since 1997.

Lawrence Yun, the association’s chief economist, believes that buyers will continue to have the advantage over vendors for the medium-term.

Meanwhile, the organisation said that existing home prices fell by 15.3% in December, compared with the same period in 2007, with almost half of transactions were as a result of the vendor selling at a discounted price.

In related news, last week, the US Commerce Department revealed that homebuilders commenced work on the least number of homes in December.

Housing starts fell 15.5%, to an annually-adjusted 550,000, well below analysts expectations of 605,000, and the lowest figure since records began in 1959.

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