US existing home sales inch higher in October
File photo of a 'for sale' sign in front of a home in Miami, Florida. (JOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP)
WASHINGTON: Sales of existing US homes inched higher for the second straight month in October despite increasingly tight supplies and rising prices, the National Association of Realtors reported on Tuesday (Nov 21).The pace of sales hit its highest level in four months but nevertheless remained subdued in a year that has seen a pronounced downward trend.Last month, sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops jumped two percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million, overshooting analyst forecasts that had expected a result of 5.42 million.The increase appeared larger after a slight downward revision to September and sales were still 0.9 per cent below October of 2016."While the housing market gained a little more momentum last month, sales are still below year-ago levels because low inventory is limiting choices for prospective buyers and keeping price growth elevated," Lawrence Yun, the NAR's chief economist, said in a statement.Areas in Texas and Florida damaged by late-summer back-to-back hurricanes are still seeing depressed sales but should bounce back to pre-storm levels by the end of 2017, he added.
Prices, meanwhile, posted their 68th month of continued increases, with the median existing price for all housing types hitting US$247,000, up 5.5 per cent over October 2016.Inventories went in the opposite direction for the 29th month in a row, with the number of existing homes for sale falling 3.2 per cent to 1.8 million, 10.4 per cent below the year-ago level.At the current sales pace, unsold inventory amounted to a supply of 3.9 months, down from 4.4 months a year ago.Analysts say the current economic recovery, which has seen seven years of uninterrupted job creation and low interest rates, has produced strong demand for houses.
But several factors have constrained supply, with investors owning a large share of suitable houses and waiting for a peak in prices to sell.Construction of new homes has also been subdued, amid rising input costs and tight labour.
Source : http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/us-existing-home-sales-inch-higher-in-october-9427042