U.S. existing-home sales edged up in February from the previous month, evidence of a recovering property market, a leading industry group reported Thursday.
Existing home sales, which tally completed transactions for single-family houses, townhouses and condominiums, rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.98 million last month from an upwardly revised 4.92 million in January, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said in a report.
The level was 10.2 percent higher than the 4.52 million units registered in February 2012, NAR said.
The national median existing-home price for all housing types was 173,600 U.S. dollars in February, up 11.6 percent from February 2012, the 12th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases.
NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said conditions existed for continued housing market improvement.
"Job growth in the improving economy and pent-up demand are causing both home sales and rental leasing to rise. Though home prices are rising much faster than rents, historically low mortgage rates are still making home purchases affordable," he said.