Home sales have increased once again during October for the second month in a row reaching the highest pace in almost ten years according to the National Association of Realtors. Every predominant region in the United States had experienced monthly and annual sales increases in October.
Total existing home sales or completed transactions of single families, townhomes, condos and coops rose by 2% in October from September. The number of sales of 5.6 million was actually 5.9% higher than October of last year by comparison. This was also the highest amount this year since February at 5.79 million.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, shared that the activity is indicative of a revival of the real estate market for the fall. “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,” he said. “Buyers are having more success lately despite low inventory and prices that continue to swiftly rise above incomes.”
Added Yun, “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.”
Housing inventory by the end of October had decreased by half of a percent and is now 4.3% lower than a year ago.
“The ramp-up in housing starts in October is a hopeful sign that overall supply can steadily increase enough to provide more choices for buyers and also moderate price growth,” said Yun. “A prolonged continuation of the robust single-family starts pace seen last month (869,000) would go a long way in giving homeowners much-needed assurance that they can list their home for sale and find a new home to buy within a reasonable timeframe.”
Regarding time on the market, the average days on market for listings in October was 41. This was an increase from 39 days in September, yet much lower than last year at 57 days.
Breakdowns for regions are as follows:
In the Northeast, home sales increased 1.4% up to 750,000 in October. This was 1.4% higher last year’s numbers. Median sales prices in the area was also up 2.9% from October of last year.
In the Midwest home sales climbed 2.3% to 1.36 million in October which is 6.3% higher than October of 2015. Median sales prices were also up by 5.8% from last year.
In the South home sales increased 2.8% to 2.2 million and are 4.7% higher than October of last year. Median sales prices were up 7.4% from a year ago.
In the West home sales rose by 0.8% up to 1.27 million in October which is 10.4% higher than a year ago. The median sales price is also up by 7.8% from October of 2015.