Steel Markets

Existing Home Sales Up 1.9 Percent in October

Written by Sandy Williams

Existing home sales had a slight recovery in October, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales of existing homes, including single-family, townhomes, condos and co-ops, increased 1.9 percent from September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million. Sales were up 4.6 percent from October 2018.

“Historically low interest rates, continuing job expansion, higher weekly earnings and low mortgage rates are undoubtedly contributing to these higher numbers,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “We will likely continue to see sales climb as long as potential buyers are presented with an adequate supply of inventory.”

Median home prices rose 6.2 percent year-over year to $270,900 and gains were reported in all U.S. regions.

Inventory of 1.77 million units at the end of October, was down 2.7 percent from September and 4.3 percent from a year ago. Inventory was at a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.2 months in September and 4.3 months in October 2018.

“The issuance of more housing permits is a very positive sign and a good step toward more inventory,” said Yun, citing the latest data for housing starts. “In order to better counter and even slow the increase in housing prices, home builders will have to bring additional homes on the market.”

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