Existing home sales rebounded in August from a record low in July, rising 7.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.13 million, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday.
Sales rebounded from a 3.84 million pace in July, which was the lowest since the NAR started the current index of existing home sales in 1999.
The August sale rate compares with an average annual pace of 5.73 million for the residential resale gauge, which represents the vast majority of housing purchases, and with a rate of 5.1 million in August 2009.
“The 'increase’ in home sales is a bit of an illusion given the level of sales, and further confirms the fragility of the recovery,” Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial, said in a research note. “Why do sales remain so weak? Uncertainty about everything from jobs to housing prices are undermining the decisions to both buy and lend in the housing market.
Swonk said home values are likely to deteriorate further now that banks are listing a new round of foreclosed properties.