The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported today that existing-home sales in all major regions of the nation were up in October for the second straight month. Sales surpassed the June peak to become the highest annualized pace in approximately a decade.
Total existing-home sales for single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, jumped 2.0% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.60 million in October from an upwardly revised 5.49 million in September. October’s sales pace is 5.9% above a year ago (5.29 million) and surpasses June’s pace (5.57 million) as the highest since February 2007 (5.79 million), according to the NAR.
In October, first-time buyers led the charge with 33% of sales, which is down from 34% in September, but up from and 31% a year ago. Year to date figures show that first-time buyers represent 35% of total sales, which is the highest since 2013 (38 percent).
All-cash buyers were at 22%, up from 21% in September but down from 24 percent a year ago. Property investors accounted for 13% of homes sold in October, down from 14% in September and the same from a year ago. 61% of investors paid in cash in October.
Distressed sales were up slightly to 5% in October, up from 4% in September but down from 6% a year ago.
Regionally, the Northeast had risen 1.4% with a median price of $255,500. The Midwest saw existing-home sales grow 2.3% with a median price of $181,500. The South was up 2.8% with a median price of $202,300, and sales in the West increased 0.8% with a median price of $345,800.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the wave of sales activity the last two months represents a convincing autumn revival for the housing market. “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.”
You can read more of the report from the NAR at this link.