FILE- In this July 31, 2018, file photo, a sign shows a house sold in North Andover, Mass. On Thursday, Sept. 20, the National Association of Realtors reports on sales of existing homes in August. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

US home sales were flat in August

September 20, 2018 - 10:00 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. sales of existing homes were unchanged in August, as a shortage of houses priced at less than $250,000 — a level considered to be affordable for the middle class — has become a drag on the real estate market.

The National Association of Realtors says homes sold last month at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 5.34 million. Existing home sales have fallen 1.5 percent during the past 12 months.

Price gains are moderating, and the total number of sales listings is increasing. But the sales momentum is increasingly concentrated on homes worth more than $500,000, while sales of homes worth less than $250,000 have tumbled over the past year.

The median sales price in July increased 4.6 percent from a year ago to $264,800.

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