Amidst a backdrop of crumbling credit markets and stock indices desperately looking for the bottom, the U.S. resale housing market showed some promising signs in September as existing home sales rose 5.4% over August and posted their first year-over-year gain in three long years. Nationwide, home sales rose 1.4% in September over the previous year.
The sales jump, which took economists by surprise pushed active listing inventories down by 1.6% and brought the second consecutive month of inventory declines. Still, a near 10-month supply of residential property is available for purchase across the United States.
Home prices continued to post losses and reached their lowest level since April 2004. The median price of a U.S. home fell to $191,600, down nine percent from one year ago.
According to a story in the Globe and Mail, Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) attributes increased unit sales to a “rise in foreclosure and other ‘distress sales’ in regions of the country hard-hit by the ongoing housing downturn.”
“In some regions, the lower prices are seeing buyers return to the marketplace,” he said. “This was a nice jump, and hopefully this trend can continue because the first step to stabilizing the market is an increase in home sales.”
Read the Globe and Mail story here.
Read NAR’s media release here.
See the current U.S. real estate stats here.
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