Housing Market Picks Up

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The housing market may finally be on the mend, after hitting rock bottom in July.

The National Association of Realtors reported Thursday that existing home sales jumped up by 7.6% in August, with more than 4 million homes sold, even though the homebuyer tax credit has expired.

By comparison, home sales in July dropped by 27% from the month before, hitting the lowest level in more than a decade.

“The housing market is trying to recover on its own power without the homebuyer tax credit,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, in a press release.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Census Bureau came out with its own evidence of the beginnings of a housing recovery earlier in the week, announcing that the number of new home construction projects shot up by more than 10% last month. New home construction now sits at the highest level since April.

However, as Yun noted in the NAR report, the housing market remains far from ideal.

“Despite very attractive affordability conditions, a housing market recovery will likely be slow and gradual because of lingering economic uncertainty,” Yun said.

One looming sign is that homebuilder confidence in September, another key market indicator, remained at the lowest level all year.

On top of this, a separate study from Trulia.com, a popular real estate website, found that more than a quarter of all homes on the market slashed their prices last month, and yet Americans still aren’t buying.

So while the market has certainly come a long way in the six months since experts speculated it was set for a double dip, it unfortunately still has a long way to go.

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