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This was a good report. The term good is relative. Sales are still down year-over-year as well as year to date.

Econoday provides a balanced view.

Less strong than the headline might suggest but still very favorable is a 2.5 percent jump in May existing home sales that falls on the strong side of Econoday's consensus range. Yet the 5.340 million annual rate is well short of February's 5.480 million and 1.1 percent under the 5.400 million pace in May last year. The 3-month average, which helps smooth out some of the usual bumps in housing data, is down 0.9 percent in today's data at 5.253 million.

But May's gain is still a relief especially a 4.0 percent monthly jump in the median price to $277,700 for year-on-year growth of 4.8 percent. Another positive is a strong 4.9 percent rise in the number of resales on the market, at 1.920 million.

By units, single-family resales rose 2.6 percent to a 4.750 million pace while condo sales climbed 1.7 percent to 590,000. By region, the Northeast and Midwest posted mid-single digit monthly gains with the South and West in the low single digits.

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