From the WSJ:
Sales of existing homes rose in October to their highest level in a year, the latest sign of the U.S. housing recovery shaking off the shock of last year’s jump in mortgage rates.
Sales of previously owned homes climbed 1.5% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.26 million, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. September’s sales pace was revised up slightly to 5.18 million.
It was the sixth time in seven months that sales rose from the prior month. Sales in October were up 2.5% from a year earlier, the first time this year that sales rose instead of fell on an annual basis. Last month’s sales pace was the highest since September 2013.
Existing-home sales, which make up roughly 90% of U.S. home purchases, tumbled following a mid-2013 jump in mortgage rates. But the sector has regained traction in recent months as mortgage rates have eased.
Prices still are rising, but their growth has moderated this year. The median sale price for a previously owned home in October was $208,300, up 5.5% from a year earlier but below the 11.5% increase seen in 2013 from the prior year.
In October, existing-home sales rose in the Northeast, Midwest and South but declined in the West, according to the Realtors group.
The inventory of homes available for sale was up 5.2% last month from a year earlier. At the current sales pace, it would take 5.1 months to exhaust the supply of homes on the market.