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Entries in July (2)

Wednesday
Aug222012

Existing Home Sales Jump in July

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The housing market is on a slow road to recovery.

Sales of existing homes climbed 2.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.47 million in July, according to the National Association of Realtors.  Home re-sales were also up more than 10 percent compared to a year ago. This was just slightly lower than economist expectations.

The number of first-time homebuyers rose to 34 percent of sales, up slightly from June. In a healthy market, first-time buyers make up about 40 percent of sales.

The median price of existing homes climbed 9.4 percent to $187,300 compared to a year ago.  This was the strongest year-over-year increase since January 2006.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul082011

Top Eight Best Buys in July

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Entering a cool, air-conditioned store is a good way to escape July's heat. On top of that, July happens to be a good month for finding hot bargains.

With back-to-school spending right around the corner, ABC News talked with Allison Kade and Maria Lin of LearnVest.com, a personal finance website geared toward women, about what to buy in July to save money.

Here is a list of items the staff created that offer the best deals in July for frugal shoppers:

1. Furniture: "There is new inventory in July because they're clearing out furniture for the fall," says Kade, a deputy editor at LearnVest.  Outdoor furniture may have some of the steepest discounts in the seventh month of the year as retailers begin "making room for the fall inventory in the showrooms."

2. Big Appliances: Items like microwaves and refrigerators may see price trimming after the July 4 holiday weekend.  For consumers hoping to renovate a home or replace dated household items, July is a good time to begin shopping.

3. Suits: "Suits tend to be good -- especially spring suits," says Kade.  Since the inventory is on its way out, "if you're willing to store it nicely in your closet" until the right season rolls around, you can find a good buy.

4. Paint: "Paint is a pretty good buy at this time of the year," Kade says.  "It's pretty hot outside so no one feels like painting."  The lack of interest in staying home and painting a room in record heat is why many may save money on this product.

5. Butter: "It seems that butter production is at its best in June and July, so for that reason there's more of it," says Kade.  The excess amount makes it a steal in July.  "It might make sense to buy a significant amount to store for later," she adds.

6. Mattresses: "Mattresses tend to go on sale around big holiday weekends," says Lin, editor-in-chief of LearnVest.  The comfy item did not make the online list because of year-round deals, but mattresses are still a good buy in July.  Lin recommends haggling with dealers throughout the year.  Since the mark-up on mattresses varies, "you can negotiate and should not accept the ticket price."

7. Older Computer Models: Newer models of computers tend to surface in the fall, allowing tech stores to offer great deals on older models.  "If you're buying a regular model, then July is not a good time to buy because new models come out in fall," says Kade.

8. Swimwear: "As the summer progresses, [swimwear] will get increasingly cheap," Kade says.  "The same holds true for August.  If you store it for next season, then it can be a good buy."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio