Existing-home sales climbed in October for a consecutive straight month and now stand above year-over-year levels for the first time in a year, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Total existing-home sales, which count transactions of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, grew 1.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.26 million in October. Sales are now at the highest annual pace since September 2013 (also 5.26 million).
NAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun, indicated that 2014's housing market has been a story of two distinct halves. “Sales activity in October reached its highest annual pace of the year as buyers continue to be encouraged by interest rates at lows not seen since last summer, improving levels of inventory and stabilizing price growth,” Yun said. The economist also commented that, “the job market has shown continued strength in the past six months. This bodes well for solid demand to close out the year and the likelihood of additional months of year-over-year sales increases."
Total housing inventory at the end of October dropped 2.6 percent to 2.22 million existing homes available for purchase. This would be a 5.1-month supply at the current sales pace – the lowest since March (also 5.1 months). Unsold inventory is currently 5.2 percent higher than one year ago, when there were 2.11 million existing homes available.