Sales of previously owned U.S. homes probably rose in June, a report may show today, a sign the recent pickup in demand will be sustained.
Purchases climbed 1.5 percent last month to a 4.62 million annual rate, matching April as the fastest since January, according to the median forecast of 76 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Jobless claims increased last week, another report may show.
Mortgage rates at all-time lows and a drop in prices have made properties more affordable for Americans with access to credit. At the same time, the recovery in the housing market will take time as the economy is slow to create jobs and lingering foreclosures put more homes on the market.
“We’re past the bottom and slowly recovering,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “We might have one more bout of price weakness ahead when the foreclosure pipeline empties later in the year, but investor demand is strong and we’ll absorb that.”
The report from the National Association of Realtors is due at 10 a.m. in Washington. Bloomberg survey estimates ranged from 4.46 million to 4.75 million.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke is among those who say the housing market is improving.
Growth in construction and “historically low mortgage rates” are among “modest signs” of a housing recovery, even as some buyers show concern about personal finances and the broader economy and have difficulty meeting lending standards, Bernanke told the Senate Banking Committee this week.