Americans bought more homes in June, the fourth straight monthly gain, as the sales rate reached its highest level in more than nine years.

The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that sales of existing homes rose 1.1 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million, the best performance since February 2007. Buyers are quickly making offers amid tight supplies of homes on the market, boosting prices as the traditional buying season reaches its crescendo. The solid job market and mortgage rates near historic lows have kept demand steady, even though the number of listings on the market has dropped.

But continued sales gains appear to be limited this year because of the acute shortage of listings. The meager supplies have fueled price growth that has eclipsed wage gains while forcing buyers to save more for down payments or borrow more heavily. The result is that sales probably peaked in June, with data showing the pace of signed contracts and open-house visits have slipped.

Sales rose in the Midwest and West last month, while staying unchanged in the South and slipping in the Northeast.

The median home sales price was $247,700 in June, up 4.8 percent from a year ago. That increase is roughly double the pace of average hourly wage gains.

Posted by Abuzar Waleed on
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