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THIRD-QUARTER HOME RESALES RISE IN 35 STATES, NAR REPORTS

 THIRD-QUARTER HOME RESALES RISE IN 35 STATES, NAR REPORTS
 WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- With interest rates at a historic low point, consumer confidence in the economy was evident during 1992's third quarter as home resale activity grew in 35 states compared to a year ago, the National Association of Realtors reported today.
 According to the association's latest quarterly state-by-state survey of sales of previously owned homes, the increases ranged from 3.1 percent in South Carolina to 31.2 percent in Rhode Island. While figures for Alaska and Maine were not available, a total of 22 states registered b?le-digit increases.
 NAR President Dorcas T. Helfant said the figures prove that the long-term economic outlook is positive. "Even with a stagnant economy, the big picture for the market is defined by growth. Now, if only legislation were passed allowing consumers to overcome down payment barriers, housing could lift the economy and bring positive change to many related industries," Helfant said.
 Nationwide, the NAR survey of sales of existing single-family detached homes, town houses, apartment condominiums and co- operatives, showed a seasonally adjusted annual resale rate(A) of 3.35 million units during July, August and September of this year, compared to 3.53 million for the same time period last year, a decrease of 5 percent. Although most states saw improvements, weakness in populous states such as California, Florida and New Jersey affected the national pace.
 For the third quarter of 1992, interest rates for a conventional, 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 8.01 percent, the lowest since the second quarter of 1973, when rates were 7.64 percent, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.
 John A. Tuccillo, NAR's chief economist, said the survey results reveal that most areas of the country are primed for economic recovery. "The spurt of home resales has certainly been helped by the lowest interest rates in almost two decades, but home buyers and owners won't make a significant move into the market until further incentives are provided by the government," Tuccillo said.
 NAR advocates legislative changes, such as allowing consumers to apply funds from Individual Retirement Accounts and 401(k) programs toward a home down payment, and points to recently enacted legislation expanding mortgage programs of the Federal Housing Administration and Veterans Administration as examples of positive reform.
 On a regional basis, home resales for the third quarter of 1992 rose in one of four areas in the nation, compared to the same time period last year.
 In the Midwest, third quarter resales were up 2.6 percent compared to 1991's third quarter, with 10 out of 12 states registering improvements. North Dakota recorded the largest increase of 21.1 percent in the region, and Kansas followed with an increase of 18.9 percent.
 In the South, 11 of 17 states experienced increases in home resale activity, although an overall decrease of 4.5 percent was recorded for the region compared to last year's third quarter. Kentucky led the South with a 16.7 percent rise, while Mississippi saw home resales grow by 16.5 percent.
 The Northeast home resale rate dropped 5.5 percent, compared to the same time period one year ago, yet six of eight states recorded growth. Rhode Island came out first in the region and the nation, as home resales climbed 31.2 percent. New Hampshire also experienced substantial growth with a 25.8 percent rise.
 Eight out of 12 states in the West recorded growth in home resales, compared to the third quarter of 1991, yet the region registered a 14.8 percent decrease. Oregon registered an improvement of 27.7 percent while Wyoming was second in the region with an 18.1 percent growth rate.
 The National Association of Realtors, "The Voice for Real Estate," is the nation's largest trade association, representing nearly 750,000 members involved in all aspects of the real estate industry.
 (A) The seasonally adjusted annual rate for a particular quarter represents what the total number of actual sales for a year would be if the relative resale pace were maintained for the year's four consecutive quarters. Seasonally adjusted annual rates are used in reporting quarterly data to factor out seasonal variations in resale activity. For example, home sales are normally higher in the summer and relatively light in winter, primarily because of differences in weather and changing demographic patterns.
 -0- 11/13/92
 /CONTACT: Trisha Morris, 202-383-7560, Annemarie Roketenetz, 202-383-7560, or Scott Sherwood, 202-383-1016, all of the National Association of Realtors/ CO: National Association of Realtors ST: District of Columbia IN: SU: ECO


DC -- DC001 -- 0529 11/13/92 08:46 EST
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Date:Nov 13, 1992
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