The National Association of Realtors announced today that sales of existing homes rose to an annualized rate of five million units in July. While that’s the highest level since February, today’s report is simply more confirmation that sales are stuck on a very low plateau. Prices are slipping and this is luring some buyers, but the number of listed but unsold homes, 4.67 million, is an all-time high. The New York Times reported yesterday that as many as 2.5 million homes could enter foreclosure this year, further driving supply up and prices down. In Los Angeles County, population 10 million, a third of home sales are of foreclosed properties. Nationally, there is now a nearly 11-month supply of single-family houses for sale and an astonishing 15-month supply of condos. And with more lenders demanding higher down payments and better credit histories, prices may have to fall even lower before sales show any significant improvement.