Modest 0.5% Gain in Existing Home Sales; Median Price Dropped at Record Y/Y Level

Total existing-home sales rose a modest 0.5% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of 6.24 million units from an upwardly revised pace of 6.21 million in September, but were 11.5% below the 7.05 million-unit level of October 2005, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The median price of a home dropped to $221,000 in October, a decline of 3.5% from October 2005, when the median price spiked above adjacent months to $229,000. This is the biggest year-over-year price decline on record. 

Total housing inventory levels increased 1.9% at the end of October to 3.85 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 7.4-month supply at the current sales pace.

Single-family home sales rose 1.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.50 million in October from a level of 5.43 million September, but were 11.0% below the 6.18 million-unit pace in October 2005.  The median existing single-family home price was $221,300 in October, which is 3.4% below a year ago.

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 6.36 percent in October, down from 6.40 percent in September; the rate was 6.07 percent in October 2005.  Last week, Freddie Mac reported the 30-year rate dropped to 6.18 percent – the lowest since January of this year.

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