Existing home sales rose monthly for the second straight month — barely.
Sales of existing homes rose 0.8 percent month-over-month in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.34 million, according to the latest monthly report from the National Association of Realtors.
The report shows the small uptick among single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops. The figure also marks the second straight month of growth following September’s monthly existing home sales jump of 7 percent.
Despite these gains, sales were still 5.8 percent lower than last October’s seasonally adjusted rate of 6.34 million.
The increase in sales can be attributed to widespread work anywhere policies, which have also increased sales volume in some parts of the country, Yun said.
“Record-high stock markets and all-time high home prices have worked to significantly raise total consumer wealth and, when coupled with extended remote work flexibility, elevated housing demand in vacation regions,” Yun said.
About 1.25 million units were for sale at the end of October, which is down 0.8 percent from September and down 12 percent from a year ago.
It would take 2.4 months to sell all unsold units at the current pace of sales, the same as in September but faster than October 2020, when it would have taken 2.5 months to sell.
“Home sales remain resilient, despite low inventory and increasing affordability challenges,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. Fast rising rents and consumer prices are likely encouraging prospective buyers seeking a fixed consistent mortgage payment, Yun added.
Individual investors and second home buyers purchased 17 percent of the homes for sale in October, up from 13 percent in September and 14 percent in October of last year.
The median existing home price for all housing types was $353,900, up 13.1 percent from last year’s $313,000 price tag. The 116 months of year-over-year increases marks the longest running streak on record.
Properties sat on the market for about 18 days in October, up from 17 days in September and down from 21 days in October last year. About 82 percent of homes sold in October were off the market before the month was over.
The Midwest and South saw month-over-month growth in sales, with sales increasing by 4.2 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. The Northeast saw sales decline by 2.6 percent and the West saw sales hold steady from the previous month.
All major U.S. regions saw sales decline from last year.