The National Association of Realtors released Existing Home Sales today.
October sales went up 10.1% from September. Sales are also at 2007 levels. NAR attributed this surge to the expiring first time home buyer tax credit and said expect sales to decline for the rest of 2009, Q1 2010.
Existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – surged 10.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of 6.10 million units in October from a downwardly revised pace of 5.54 million in September, and are 23.5 percent above the 4.94 million-unit level in October 2008. Sales activity is at the highest pace since February 2007 when it hit 6.55 million.
Inventories are at their lowest level in 2.5 years.
Total housing inventory at the end of October fell 3.7 percent to 3.57 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 7.0-month supply2 at the current sales pace, down from an 8.0-month supply in September. Unsold inventory totals are 14.9 percent below a year ago.
According to Calculated Risk (link is analysis with graphs), a normal market has a 6 months supply of inventory.
The Median price of a home is $173,100, an overall drop of 7.1% since October 2008. The September median price was $174,900.
Distressed sales count for 30% of all home sales.
The national median existing-home price3 for all housing types was $173,100 in October, down 7.1 percent from October 2008. Distressed properties, which accounted for 30 percent of sales in October, continue to downwardly distort the median price because they usually sell at a discount relative to traditional homes in the same area.