Existing-home sales rose 2.0% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.60 million in October, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). October’s sales pace was the highest since February 2007 (5.79 million). Annual sales of homes increased across all regions, rising 1.4% in the Northeast, 2.3% in the Midwest, 2.8% in the South and 0.8% in the West.
“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,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Buyers are having more success lately despite low inventory and prices that continue to swiftly rise above incomes.”
Yun added, “The good news is that the tightening labor market is beginning to push up wages and the economy has lately shown signs of greater expansion. These two factors and low mortgage rates have kept buyer interest at an elevated level so far this fall.”
The total housing inventory fell 0.5% to 2.02 million homes available for sale, while the median existing home price stood at $232,000, a 6.0% increase from October 2015.
Distressed sales moved up to 5% of the total in October, but down from 6% a year ago. Four percent of sales were foreclosures and 1% were short sales. On average, foreclosures and short sales sold for discounts of 18% and 16%, respectively.
Read the NAR release.