After a disappointing September, existing-home sales stacked up, thanks to climbing earnings, expanding jobs and low mortgage rates, according to the latest National Association of REALTORS® report. October’s sales totaled 5.46 million, a 1.9 percent increase month-over-month and a 4.6 percent increase year-over-year.
“Historically-low interest rates, continuing job expansion, higher weekly earnings and low mortgage rates are undoubtedly contributing to these higher numbers,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR, says. “We will likely continue to see sales climb as long as potential buyers are presented with an adequate supply of inventory.”
The amount of existing for-sale homes in October totaled 1.77 million, down 2.7 percent from the month prior and 4.3 percent year-over-year.
“The issuance of more housing permits is a very positive sign and a good step toward more inventory,” says Yun. “In order to better counter and even slow the increase in housing prices, home builders will have to bring additional homes on the market.”
Across all house types (single-family, condo, co-op and townhome), the median price was $270,900—a 6.2 percent increase year-over-year, NAR’s report reveals. The median price for sales in the single-family space was $273,600, while the condo median was $248,500.
Midwest Existing-Home Sales: 1.29 million (+2.4% YoY)
Median Price: $209,900 (+6.7% YoY)
South Existing-Home Sales: 2.35 million (+7.8% YoY)
Median Price: $234,900 (+6% YoY)
West Existing-Home Sales: 1.13 million (+3.7% YoY)
Median Price: $410,700 (+7.8% YoY)
Currently, inventory is at a 3.9-month supply, the report shows. In October, the average listing was on the market for 36 days, unchanged year-over-year. Forty-six percent of homes were on the market for less than one month.
Of October’s sales, 4.87 million were single-family, and condo and co-op sales totaled 590,000. Nineteen percent of sales were all-cash, and 14 percent by individual investors or second homebuyers. Two percent were distressed. First-time homebuyers comprised 31 percent of sales, less than the overall trend for the year, at 33 percent.
According to realtor.com®’s Market Hotness Index, included in NAR’s report, the hottest metros in October were: Fort Wayne, Ind.; Pueblo, Colo.; Columbus, Ohio; Rochester, N.Y.; and Colorado Springs, Colo.
“It is great to see home sales rise along with an increase in housing permits,” Vince Malta, NAR president, says. “Both homebuyers and the home sellers are being rewarded by these developments, and we see that conditions remain extremely favorable for real estate investment in America.”