Instant view: Home sales down 4 percent in May

Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sales of existing home sales were down 3.8 percent in May and the median price for a home continued to fall, the National Association of Realtors said on Tuesday.

KEY POINTS: * The National Association of Realtors said sales dropped 3.8 percent month over month to an annual rate of 4.81 million units, the lowest since November, after a downwardly revised 5.0 million unit pace in April.

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COMMENTS:

TOM DONINO, CO-HEAD OF TRADING, FIRST NEW YORK SECURITIES, NEW YORK:

DAVID SLOAN, ECONOMIST, IFR ECONOMICS, A UNIT OF THOMSON REUTERS:

"While suggesting that May existing home sales would prove the year's low, the NAR did express concern over pending action in Congress to require a 20% down payment for home purchases that could dampen any recovery. The regional breakdown for May's report showed no regions seeing increases, with the best being an unchanged outcome in the West, and the weakest being a 6.4% fall in the Midwest where bad weather was an additional problem. Distressed sales made up 31% of total sales in May, a decline from the levels seen in most recent months, and it may be that legal difficulties delaying foreclosures was a factor here.

MARKET REACTION: STOCKS: U.S. stock indexes added to gains BONDS: U.S. bond prices eased, boosting yields slightly FOREX: The dollar was little changed

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