The total number of existing-home sales across the U.S. increased in October, totaling at their highest level since the beginning of the summer this year. The total of existing-home sales – including single-family homes, townhomes, condominium homes and co-ops – increased by 2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million in October from 5.37 million in September of this year. After the October increase, sales are at their strongest level since June when they were at 5.51 million.
National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said sales activity in October picked up for the second straight month, with increases in all four primary regions. “Job growth in most of the country continues to carry on at a robust level and is starting to slowly push up wages, which in turn is giving households added assurance that now is a good time to buy a home,” Yun said. “The residual effects on sales from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are still seen in parts of Texas and Florida. However, sales should completely bounce back to their pre-storm levels by the end of the year, as demand for buying in these areas was very strong before the storms.” As seen by October reports from Naples Area Board of Realtors®, areas of Southwest Florida have already recovered nicely, reporting an increased number of closed sales for October.
The median existing-home price for all types of housing in October was $247,000, representing an increase of 5.5 percent from October 2016 when the median existing-home price was $234,100.
“Listings – especially those in the affordable price range – continue to go under contract typically a week faster than a year ago, and even quicker in many areas where healthy job markets are driving sustained demand for buying,” said Yun. “With the seasonal decline in inventory beginning to occur in most markets, prospective buyers will likely continue to see competitive conditions through the winter.”
First-time homebuyers represented 32 percent of sales in October, which shows an increase of 29 percent from September.
Single-family home sales increased by 2.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.87 million for October from 4.77 million in September of this year, but still 1 percent less than the 4.92 million total from one year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $248,300 in October, an increase of 5.4 percent when compared to October 2016. Existing condominium home and co-op sales showed an increase of 1.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000 units in October, which remained unchanged from one year ago. The median existing condominium price was $236,800 in October, which is 6.9 percent more than one year ago.
Existing-home sales in the South region of the United States increased 1.9 percent to an annual rate of 2.16 million in October and though this is still 1.8 percent lower than one year ago, this level is considered extremely positive considering the affects of the hurricane that have been dealt with. The median price in the South was $214,900, representing an increase of 4.6 percent from one year ago.