Existing-home sales and optimism are on the rise

Sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops rose a record 7.2 percent in July over June levels, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

The monthly sales gain was the largest since 1999.  Total sales were 5.0 percent above the same month one year earlier and represented the fourth consecutive monthly increase. The last time sales grew that consistently was in June 2004, and the last time sales were higher than a year earlier was November 2005. (My forthcoming biweekly e-newsletter will have much more on this news and both the U.S. and New York City housing markets.)

With predictions based on the Case-Shiller indices, Radar Logic (below) and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke himself, hopes are running high as evidenced by activity in the stock market this week. Continue reading