May existing home sales rose by 2.4 percent - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

May existing home sales rose by 2.4 percent

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By ALAN ZIBEL, AP Real Estate Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A real estate group says sales of previously occupied homes rose modestly from April to May, the third monthly increase this year, but signs of any housing recovery are fragile at best.

The National Association of Realtors said Tuesday that home sales rose 2.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.77 million last month, from a downwardly revised pace of 4.66 million in April. Prices, meanwhile, dropped by 16.8 percent from a year ago.

The results missed economists' expectations. Sales had been expected to rise to an annual pace of 4.81 million units, according to Thomson Reuters.

The median sales price plunged to $173,000, down from $207,900 in the same month last year, but up from $166,600 in April.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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