Single-family existing-home sales fell 2.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.86 million units in June from a pace of 4.99 million in May, and are 15.5 percent lower than the 5.75 million-unit rate in June 2007, according to yesterday’s National Association of Realtors (NAR) release.


However, the association said it expects the enactment of a homebuyer tax credit to bring more first-time buyers into the market.


Sales of previously owned homes fell from a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.40 million in May to 4.27 million in June. Sales were off by 15% since June 2007, and the median price of a single-family home was down 6.7% from that of a year earlier, to $213,800.


Congress is expected to send a major housing bill to the president later this week that contains a $7,500 first-time homebuyer tax credit.


"With many potential first-time homebuyers on the sidelines, a first-time homebuyers' tax credit would have a significant positive impact on both housing and the economy," NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said.  

The tax credit is refundable, and it works like an interest-free loan the homebuyer has to pay back in 15 years.

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