A report released this morning by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed that total existing home sales in America, which account for a much larger portion of the overall U.S. housing market than new home sales (due out next week), rose by 2.0 percent in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million units. That was better than economists expected and the fastest pace of growth recorded since June. On a year-over-year basis, though, sales declined for the second month in a row, the first such occurrence since 2014.
Regionally, existing home sales lifted across the country in October, with the largest gain found in the Northeast (+4.2 percent). Total housing inventory fell 3.2 percent last month to 1.80 million existing homes available for sale, which is also 10.4 percent lower compared to a year ago. Further, the median selling price was $247,000 in October, up 5.5 percent over the past year and therefore the 68th consecutive month of annual growth. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, added that “While the housing market gained a little more momentum last month, sales are still below year ago levels because low inventory is limiting choices for prospective buyers and keeping price growth elevated.”
Sources: Econoday, NAR, ZH, FRBSLPost author: Charles Couch