Sales of previously owned homes slipped 2.2 percent in July from the month before, according to new numbers from the National Association of Realtors. It was the second consecutive monthly decline and put sales 16.6 percent below last year at the same time. Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, says there are two main factors slowing sales right now. “Two factors are driving current sales activity – inventory availability and mortgage rates,” Yun said. “Unfortunately, both have been unfavorable to buyers.” But while the inventory of homes for sale remains low, it did see improvement in July. In fact, total housing inventory was up 3.7 percent from June. That means more homes for sale and less upward pressure on home prices. Yun says now the market needs mortgage rates to moderate. Retreating rates will “bring more buyers and sellers to the market and get Americans moving again,” Yun said.
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