The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that existing home sales rose 2.0 percent in October, increasing for the second straight month and rebounding from summertime lulls. Sales of existing homes rose from 5.37 million units at the annual rate in September to 5.48 million in October, its best reading since June. Existing home sales remain off from February’s 5.70 million units, but the upward movement in the autumn months has been promising. The overall outlook for single-family home sales continues to be encouraging. Improvements in the macroeconomy and rising wages incentivizing more Americans to purchase a new home, according to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. At the same time, there are “residual effects on sales from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma” that still need to be worked through.
In the latest release, both single-family (up from 4.77 million to 4.87 million) and condominium and coop (up from 600,000 to 610,000) sales increased in October. Nonetheless, existing home sales have declined by 0.9 percent from 5.53 million units in October 2016, with single-family units off by 1.0 percent (down from 4.92 million) and condo/co-op sales unchanged year-over-year. The median sales price in August was $247,000, up 5.5 percent from one year ago.