Existing home sales rise decreasing number of homes on the market
Nov 21 2011 4:54PM
The National Association of Realtors reports that sales of existing homes improved during the month of October and the number of homes on the market declined.
Existing home sales rose 1.4 percent to a rate of 4.97 million in October from a downwardly revised 4.9 million last month. This is 13.5 percent above the 4.38 million units last year.
Total housing inventory for October fell 2.2 percent to 3.33 million existing homes on for sale. Inventories have been declining since hitting a record of 4.58 million in July 2008.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the market has been steady but still lower than the desired level and that home sales have been stuck in a narrow range, despite the improvement of many factors such as job creation, high rents and high affordability. Contract failures, stemming from declined mortgage applications and failures in loan underwriting from appraised values, have been on the rise, jumping to 33 percent in October from 18 percent in September.
"Many people who are attempting to buy homes are thwarted in the process. A higher rate of conract failures has held back a sales recovery," he said.