Posted November 22, 2016

Existing home sales surge again in October

Pace rises 2 percent to 5.6 million annual rate.

For the second consecutive month, existing-home sales were on the rise, ascending above June’s cyclical sales peak to become the highest annualized pace in nearly a decade, the National Association of Realtors has reported. All major regions across the country saw an increase last month.

Total existing-home sales – which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops – increased 2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.60 million in October.

The pace of existing-home sales is 5.9 percent higher than a year ago (5.29 million), rising above June’s pace of 5.57 million. It was the highest sales pace since February 2007.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, is calling the sales increase an “autumn revival” for the housing market.

“October’s strong sales gain was widespread throughout the country and can be attributed to the release of the unrealized pent-up demand that held back many would-be buyers over the summer because of tight supply,” Yun says. “Buyers are having more success lately despite low inventory and prices that continue to swiftly rise above incomes.”

Further, the tightening labor market is pushing up wages and the economy is showing greater expansion, Yun says. “These two factors and low mortgage rates he kept buyer interest at an elevated level so far this fall,” he adds.

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