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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Existing home sales rose in May, as increasingly affordable home prices and a first-time tax credit attracted hesitant buyers.
The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales ticked up 2.4% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.77 million million units compared to the downwardly-revised rate of 4.66 million in April.
The sales missed expert forecasts of 4.82 million annual units, according to a consensus estimate of analysts compiled by Briefing.com, and are off 3.6% from the 4.95 million-unit pace 12 months ago.
Outlook: Home prices may now be affordable enough to draw in more buyers, but "the real test for this theory will come next month," said Bob Walters, chief economist at Quicken Loans. "If the numbers remain strong, perhaps it is time to begin pondering if we have started to form a bottom in the housing market."