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Gold Holds Gains After U.S. Existing-Homes Sales Fall 0.7% In July

Kitco News

Editor's Note: Updating earlier story with more details from report.

(Kitco News) - Gold prices hung onto earlier gains after sales of previously owned U.S. homes fell by  0.7% in July to a seasonally adjusted and annualized pace of 5.34 million, according to a report Wednesday from the National Association of Realtors.

Around 10:03 a.m. EDT, Comex December gold was up $3.60 at $1,203.70 an ounce. Five minutes before the report, the contract was trading at $1,204.10.

The report was the fourth straight decline in sales and slowest pace in two years, according to NAR. The western part of the U.S. was the only region with an increase in sales.

Consensus expectations compiled by various news organizations called for nationwide sales to be around 5.4 million to 5.42 million.

Sales are now 1.5% below a year ago, NAR said. The report includes sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said the continuous gains in home prices have now steadily reduced demand.

“Led by a notable decrease in closings in the Northeast, existing-home sales trailed off again last month, sliding to their slowest pace since February 2016 at 5.21 million,” he said. “Too many would-be buyers are either being priced out, or are deciding to postpone their search until more homes in their price range come onto the market.”

The median existing-home price for all housing types in July was $269,600, up 4.5% from July 2017. July’s price increase marks the 77th straight month of year-over-year gains, NAR said.

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