Home sales, prices increase in new report

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released a report showing that existing-home prices and sales jumped up in July – a potential sign things may begin to slow down in rental market.

According to the data, prices for existing homes have increased by 9.4 percent since 2011. The median home price in July was $187,300, up from $166,100 in 2011. Homes in the Northeast sold for the highest median at $254,200, an increase of 3.5 percent since 2011. Sale prices in the West, meanwhile, rose 24.5 percent to $238,600 from $201,300 in 2011.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of existing-home sales has also increased since 2011, rising 10.4 percent to a rate of 4.47 million in July from 4.05 million a year earlier.

Landlords and rental property management officials can still look forward to low vacancy rates in the coming years. Although home sales have increased, foreclosures still amount to 24 percent of overall sales numbers, and consumers whose homes have been foreclosed are likely to rent rather than buy again.

Furthermore, although the housing market is recovering, analysts say it's a long way away from reaching peak levels. Issues in the for-sale sector may lead to further growth in the lease market.