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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. rebounded by more than expected in the month of October, according to a report released by the National Association of Realtors on Thursday.

NAR said existing home sales jumped by 1.9 percent to an annual rate of 5.46 million in October after tumbling by 2.5 percent to a revised rate of 5.360 million in September.

Economists had expected existing home sales to surge up by 1.4 percent compared to the 2.2 percent slump originally reported for the previous month.

"Historically-low interest rates, continuing job expansion, higher weekly earnings and low mortgage rates are undoubtedly contributing to these higher numbers," said NAR's chief economist Lawrence Yun.

He added, "We will likely continue to see sales climb as long as potential buyers are presented with an adequate supply of inventory."

The rebound in existing home sales was primarily due to strong growth in the South, where existing home sales spiked by 4.4 percent to a rate of 2.350 million.

Existing home sales in the Midwest also shot up by 1.6 percent, while home sales in the Northeast and West fell by 1.4 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.

The report said the median existing home price for all housing types in October was $270,900, down 0.2 percent from $271,500 in September but up 6.2 percent from $255,100 in the same month a year ago.

Total housing inventory at the end of October fell to 1.77 million units, representing 3.9 months of supply at the current sales pace.

Single-family home sales jumped by 2.1 percent to an annual rate of 4.87 million, while existing condominium and co-op sales were about even with the previous month at 590,000.

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

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