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U.S. Existing Home Sales Jump More Than Expected In October

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Existing home sales in the U.S. jumped by much more than anticipated in the month of October, according to a report released by the National Association of Realtors on Tuesday.

The report said existing home sales surged up by 2.0 percent to an annual rate of 5.48 million in October from a downwardly revised 5.37 million in September.

Economists had expected existing home sales to climb by 0.7 percent to a rate of 5.43 million from the 5.39 million originally reported for the previous month.

NAR said existing home sales rose to their highest level since reaching 5.51 million in June but are still down by 0.9 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

"While the housing market gained a little more momentum last month, sales are still below year ago levels because low inventory is limiting choices for prospective buyers and keeping price growth elevated," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

The bigger than expected monthly increase in existing home sales reflected growth in all four regions of the country, with sales in the Northeast showing a notable 4.2 percent jump.

Existing home sales in the West and South also shot up by 2.4 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively, while sales in the Midwest climbed by 0.8 percent.

The report also said the median existing home price for all housing types was $247,000 in October, down 0.2 percent from $247,600 in September but up 5.5 percent from $234,100 in October of 2016.

Meanwhile, total housing inventory tumbled by 3.2 percent to 1.80 million existing homes available for sale at the end of October and is now 10.4 percent lower than a year ago.

NAR said single-family home sales surged up by 2.1 percent to an annual rate of 4.87 million, while existing condominium and co-op sales jumped by 1.7 percent to a rate of 610,000.

Next Monday, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release a separate report on new home sales in the month of October.

by RTT Staff Writer

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