by Lee Adler
Wall Street Examiner
A falling percentage of American households can afford to buy houses as prices rise and incomes fail to keep pace. Yet, the sale prices of existing housing keep inflating. According to the NAR, which publishes the median and average sale prices after sales have settled, the prices of existing houses rose by 4.7% year to year in May. This represents contract prices mostly as of March and April. The online real estate firm Redfin publishes data on sales contract prices virtually in real time from the MLS data for the largest and most active metropolitan areas in the US. Its data showed a year to year gain of 4.3% for contracts reached in May.