Both new home sales and existing home sales for June were surprisingly strong, according to data released last week by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Analysts said that the figures suggest that while housing demand may moderate somewhat from the record levels witnessed recently, the market will likely stay robust, at least in the near term.

Existing home sales rose even more in June from May's record levels, coming in at 6.95 million units, rising 2% from May's revised number. Steve Stanley, chief economist from RBS Greenwich Capital, said this probably reflects the explosion in activity witnessed in the spring when mortgage rates first begun to back up. He noted that existing home sales are recorded at contract closing and therefore tend to lag mortgage applications and new home sales by up to two months.

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