From the WSJ:
Sales of previously owned homes swung to a big increase in September, putting the market back on track for its strongest year since 2007.
Existing-home sales climbed 4.7% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.55 million, the National Association of Realtors said on Thursday, just shy of the postrecession high touched in July.
September’s gains came on the heels of an unexpectedly weak August. The NAR on Thursday revised down August’s figure to 5.3 million from an initial estimate of 5.31 million. Stock-market turbulence and uncertainty about interest rates might have prompted some buyers to hold off on making purchases in August, economists noted.
The September increase puts the market on pace for its best year since before the recession. Better job growth, continued low mortgage rates and pent-up demand are fueling activity, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtors group.
Many economists expect the pace of sales to flatten or slow later this year, but Mr. Yun said sales still should record their best performance in eight years.
“We knew that the recovery would be coming, and it’s been a slow, steady process,” said Mr. Yun. “This year it’s finally coming out.”