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U.S. existing home sales rise for first time in 6 months
Last Updated: 2018-11-22 17:06 | Xinhua
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U.S. total existing-home sales jumped 1.4 percent from September to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.22 million in October this year, the first increase after six straight months of decrease, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said on Wednesday.

However, on a yearly basis, the sales dropped 5.1 percent from 5.5 million in October 2017.

Total existing-home sales include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops that are completed transactions.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in October was 255,400 dollars, up 3.8 percent from 246,000 dollars in October 2017. October's price increase marks the 80th straight month of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory at the end of October decreased from 1.88 million in September to 1.85 million existing homes available for sale, but increased from 1.80 million a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 4.3-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.4 months in September and up from 3.9 months a year ago.

Properties typically stayed on the market for 33 days in October, up from 32 days in September but down from 34 days a year ago. Forty-six percent of homes sold in October were on the market for less than a month.

Three of four major U.S. regions saw gains in sales activity in September.

October existing-home sales in the Northeast increased 1.5 percent to an annual rate of 690,000, 6.8 percent below a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was 280,900 dollars, up 3.0 percent from October 2017.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest declined 0.8 percent from last month to an annual rate of 1.27 million in October, down 3.1 percent overall from a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was 197,000 dollars, up 2.4 percent from last year.

Existing-home sales in the South rose 1.9 percent to an annual rate of 2.15 million in October, down 2.3 percent from last year. The median price in the South was 221,600 dollars, up 3.8 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West grew 2.8 percent to an annual rate of 1.11 million in October, 11.2 percent below a year ago. The median price in the West was 382,900 dollars, up 1.9 percent from October 2017.

"After six consecutive months of decline, buyers are finally stepping back into the housing market," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. "Gains in the Northeast, South and West, a reversal from last month's steep decline or plateau in all regions, helped overall sales activity rise for the first time since March 2018."

NAR is America's largest trade association, representing 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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