Home Sales Rose in October to Fastest Pace Since Early Summer

(CN) — Americans bought more homes in October, the market heating up to a level not seen since early summer, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday.

The industry association said sales rose 2 percent in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million — the fastest pace since June.

Lawrence Yun, the Realtors chief economist, said sales activity picked up in all four major regions of the country.

“Job growth in most of the country continues to carry on at a robust level and is starting to slowly push up wages, which is in turn giving households added assurance that now is a good time to buy a home,” he said.

But the positive report was tempered by the fact sales have slipped 0.9 percent from a year ago, mostly due to a shortage in available homes.

“Low inventory is limiting choices for prospective buyers and keeping price growth elevated,” Yun said.

According to the association, the number of available homes has fallen 10.4 percent from a year earlier to just 1.8 million.

That’s the lowest for any October since the Realtors began tracking the data in 1999.

Meanwhile the median home price jumped 5.5 percent in October from a year earlier. And homes were on the market for just 34 days, down from 41 a year ago.

Buyers closed more deals in Houston, Orlando and Jacksonville, Florida, as well as other areas damaged by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Yun said.

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