The sales rate for existing homes in August bounced back slightly from the low hit in July, but it remains well below the tax-credit-driven pace earlier in the year. Existing homes sold at a 4,130,000 annual rate in August. This was 7.6 percent above the July rate, but was more than 20 percent below the average for the first half of the year. The purchase mortgage applications index remains quite depressed relative to earlier this year. It is running close to 30 percent behind its levels for same months of 2009, suggesting that sales in September and October are unlikely to pick up from their current rates.
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