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NAR President Gary Thomas said some owners who were hurt by the downturn are now in the market. “Rising values have improved the position of homeowners, and 16 percent of REALTORS® surveyed in June report they worked with a client that previously had an underwater mortgage,” he said.

“Of those previously underwater owners, 53 percent were planning to buy another home and 22 percent intend to rent, but 25 percent weren’t sure what they’d do. In addition, 47 percent of REALTORS® report they have potential sellers who are waiting for additional price appreciation before they sell,” Thomas said.

The median time on market for all homes was 37 days in June, down from 41 days in May, and is 47 percent faster than the 70 days on market in June 2012. Short sales were on the market for a median of 68 days, while foreclosures typically sold in 39 days and non-distressed homes took 35 days. Forty-seven percent of all homes sold in June were on the market for less than a month.

First-time buyers accounted for 29 percent of purchases in June, compared with 28 percent in May and 32 percent in June 2012. “First-time buyers should be closer to 40 percent of the market, but they’re held back by the frictions of tight credit and very limited inventory in the lower price ranges in most of the U.S.,” Yun said.

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