Existing-home sales moved higher in October despite expectations they would do the opposite, underscoring the strong demand for housing across the country.
Existing-home sales increased 0.8% between September and October, hitting a seasonally-adjusted, annual rate of 6.34 million, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. Compared to a year ago, sales were down 5.8%.
“Home sales remain resilient, despite low inventory and increasing affordability challenges,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, said in the report. “Inflationary pressures, such as fast-rising rents and increasing consumer prices, may have some prospective buyers seeking the protection of a fixed, consistent mortgage payment.”
Economists polled by MarketWatch had projected existing-home sales to come in at 6.2 million.
On a regional basis, existing home sales only rose in the South and the Midwest. Meanwhile, the number of homes sold declined in the Northeast on a monthly basis, and remained flat in the West.
The median price for an existing home sold in October was $353,900, up more than 13% from a year ago. Unsold inventory was at a 2.4-month supply, equal to the previous month. A 6-month supply of homes is considered to be a sign of a balanced market.
All-cash sales represented nearly a quarter of all transactions in October, up on both a monthly and annual basis.