Existing home sales in Oct. show 5th straight monthly rise
Sales of existing homes rose for a fifth straight month in October, reaching a level not seen since before the housing bubble popped 14 years ago.
The National Association of Realtors said Thursday existing homes sales rose 4.3% to an seasonally- adjusted rate of 6.85 million annualized units. Reflecting the searing- hot housing market, that figure is up 26.6% from a year earlier.
The 6.85 million figure is the highest for that data since February 2006 — the eve of when the housing market reached its apex and subsequently collapsed.
The median price of an existing home was $ 313,000, up 15.5% from a year earlier, mostly reflecting that the nationwide inventory of existing homes remains at or near record lows. The inventory of unsold homes sits at 2.5 months’ supply, down from 2.7 months’ supply in September.
In Virginia, sales rose 28% to 13,424 transactions, fueled by strong demand, low inventory and favorable mortgage rates, according to a report by the Virginia Realtors group.
The median home sales price statewide was $ 333,000, up nearly 15% compared to a year ago. This is the third consecutive month that the median sales price in the state has increased at a double- digit rate.
The median price of a home in Virginia this October was nearly $ 70,000 higher than it was five years ago, the group said.
Realtors and housing market experts have said the housing market is in a different and healthier place than it was the last time sales were at these levels. With interest rates at nearrecord lows, mortgage rates have dropped to historically low levels.
Also the pandemic has caused many families to seek out different living arrangements to reflect that many people are likely to work remotely for the foreseeable future.
“We do expect the pace of sales to slow in the fourth quarter, with a weak recovery, resurgent pandemic and depleted inventories weighing on activity, although the risk may be for further upside surprises,” said Nancy Van Housten, lead U. S. economist for Oxford Economics.