National Association of Realtors: Home sales reach lows seen in the 90s

Sales of existing homes saw a large drop.
Sales of existing homes saw a large drop.
Existing-home sales saw a substantial drop in July, according to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors.

The organization said that at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, the month saw 3.83 million units sold, down 27.2 percent from June. On a year-to-year comparison, transactions were down 25.5 percent when compared to July 2009.

As a result, sales came in at their lowest levels since the NAR premiered its comprehensive look at this market in 1999. Meanwhile, completed transactions for single-family homes fell to a point not seen since 1995. All this could come as negative news for those who use construction equipment.

The end of a government tax credit for first-time and repeat buyers may be one of the reasons, according to NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

"Since May, after the deadline, contract signings have been notably lower and a pause period for home sales is likely to last through September," Yun said.

However, improvements in the employment picture may assist the housing market. July's jobless rate came in at 9.5 percent, which was unchanged from the month before.