Existing U.S. home sales reach three-year high

June 20, 2013 12:00PM

Sales of existing U.S. homes in May reached their highest level since November 2009, according to National Association of Realtors data cited by Bloomberg News.

Those sales rose 4.2 percent to an annualized rate of 5.18 million from 4.97 million in April. There were 2.22 million existing homes on the market in May, up from 2.15 million in April. The supply fell to 5.1 months’ worth in May from 5.2 months. Listed inventory is 10.1 percent below a year ago, according to the report released today.

Brian Jones, senior U.S. economist at financial services firm Societe Generale in New York, projected a 5.17 million annual rate for home sales.

“The residential real-estate market in the U.S. is on fire,” Jones told Bloomberg News. “Ultimately, I think it’s a sign of confidence in the U.S. economy.”

The increase in wealth from housing is boosting confidence and sustaining consumer spending that will keep fueling the economy, the publication said. [Bloomberg News]Mark Maurer