Total existing-home sales during October were up by 1.9 percent from September to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Compared to the previous year, overall sales were up by 4.6 percent from the 5.22 million level set in October 2018.
The median existing-home price for all housing types in October was $270,900, up 6.2 percent from the $255,100 price from one year earlier. October’s price increase marks 92 straight months of year-over-year gains.
But while sales and prices were up, the total housing inventory at the end of October fell to 1.77 million units, a 2.7 percent drop from September and a 4.3 percent decline from one year ago when the inventory was at 1.85 million. Unsold inventory held a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.1 months in September and from the 4.3-month figure recorded in October 2018. Properties typically remained on the market for 36 days in October, up from 32 days in September and unchanged from October 2018.
“The issuance of more housing permits is a very positive sign and a good step toward more inventory,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, citing this week’s data for housing starts. “In order to better counter and even slow the increase in housing prices, home builders will have to bring additional homes on the market.”