October Home Sales See 2% Rise, Driving Annual Upswing

October saw sales of existing homes increase 2.1%, despite impact from from Hurricane Sandy, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports.

The increase of existing home sales—which consist of single-family homes, town homes, condominiums and co-ops—represents a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.79 million in October.

This rise also puts October at a 10.9% year-over increase from the 4.32 million-unit figure in October 2011.


Given the rises for October on a monthly and yearly basis, some credit is given to Sandy for her work in shortening the market’s available supply.

“Home sales continue to trend up and most October transactions were completed by the time the storm hit, but the growing demand with limited inventory is pressuring home prices in much of the country, said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “We expect an impact on Northeastern home sales in the coming months from a pause and delays in storm-impacted regions.”

Total housing inventory at the end of October fell 1.4% to 2.14 million existing homes available for sale, representing what NAR refers to as the lowest housing supply since February 2006. For October, inventory stood at a 5.4 month supply, whereas February ’06 recorded 5.2 month supply.

NAR notes the national median existing-home price for all housing types was $178,600 in October, an 11.1% rise from last year, marking eight consecutive monthly year-over-year increases.

“Rising home prices have already resulted in a $760 billion growth in home equity during the past year,” said Yun. “Given that percentage point of price appreciation translates into an additional $190 billion in home equity, we could see close to a $1 trillion gain next year.”

Written by Jason Oliva

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  • What is interesting is that despite a growing base of potential clients (10,000 per day turning 62) and good news on the housing front, both endorsements and case number assignments are in “reverse.”  So have we been wrong and there is yet another element to the mix which is needed to turn production around?  

    Rather than consumer confidence, the basic issue which has been stated but not emphasized in the past is a much less objectively measured ingredient, senior confidence in the continued rise in home values.  This ingredient is hard if not impossible to measure precisely but certainly change can be detected subjectively.  The problem is like real estate, outlooks of this nature have a lot to do with local markets and the focus of seniors.

    Seniors who have a half empty view (a slightly more greater emphasis on focusing on the negative) will by nature have a slower turn around time.  Senior homeowners with a half full view are ready for a positive outlook on the housing front.  Yet this downturn seems to have left both groups in a more negative frame of mind.

    We are still in flux.  I just saw the Fiscal Cliff Countdown slide on CNBC which serves as a constant nag that the future is very foggy.  As expected the election solved little and this Congress is a lame duck until it is gone in mid January.  Our lame duck President seems to have a small mandate as does an obstructionist Republican House to remain obstructionist.

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