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>Washington Area Home Prices Among Strongest In Nation

>Pending sales of existing homes fell in June, though they rose in the region that includes the Washington area, and the National Association of Realtors expects sales to pick up nationally later this year.

The NAR’s monthly report on pending sales, or those with signed contracts but not settled sales, shows they fell 2.6 percent from May to June. Pending sales nationally were down 18.6 percent from a year ago.

In the South, which stretches from Delaware to Florida, pending home sales rose 13.6 percent from the previous month, the largest month-over-month increase regionally. Pending sales in the South remained 15.3 percent below year-ago levels.

“There could be a couple more months of slow sales activity before picking up later this year, provided the job market continues to improve,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Since home prices have come down to fundamentally justifiable levels, there isn’t likely to be any meaningful change to national home values.”

Yun notes some local markets continue to show strengthening prices.

Recent reports on housing prices have continued to show the Washington area’s is among the strongest in the nation.