By Jim Droz
It’s only a slight improvement, but existing-home sale numbers for October weren’t as scary as some people feared. The latest figures from the National Association of Realtors show that sales were up 1.4 percent from September last month and are a promising 13.5 percent above October 2010. The latter figure is cause for some good cheer as we head into the holiday season.
Three of four regions saw growth in October, with the West leading the way at 4.4 percent. The Midwest and South rose 2.8 and 2.1, respectively. The Northeast was the only region to see a decline in October, falling 5.1 percent.
NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said the market has been steady and would likely improve if the country’s overall economic news started looking up.
“Many people who are attempting to buy homes are thwarted in the process,” he said in a statement that hinted at credit standards being too tight.
The NAR also reported that the national median home price for existing homes is $162,500, which is down another 4.7 percent from October 2010. Distressed properties are accounting for less of the market, which means prices are falling in response to other economic conditions.