While previously owned U.S. home sales ticked up two points in May to an annualized rate of 4.99 million sales, on a year-over-year basis sales remain off by 16 percent, the median sales price dropped 6.3%, and the increase is compared to the month prior which “matched a record low for existing home sales.”

A drop in property values may have spurred demand in some of the most distressed areas, such as California and the Midwest. Even so, rising mortgage rates, a glut of unsold homes, and stricter borrowing rules indicate the real estate recession will persist for most of the year.

And looking forward rather than back, “The Mortgage Bankers Association’s index of loan applications to purchase homes fell last week to the lowest level in more than five years.”
Home Resales in U.S. Rose to 4.99 Million Rate in May [Bloomberg]

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