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    Buyers snap up existing US homes in October

    November 21, 2020
    real estate

    The US real estate boom remained unstoppable in October, according to data from an industry group, with the pace of existing home sales growing beyond expectations, tightening inventory and pushing prices up.
    The report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) indicated that the housing market remains one of the few bright spots in a rapidly darkening US economy beset by rising coronavirus cases and Congress’s continued failure to agree on a new stimulus measure.
    Existing home sales rose 4.3 percent from September to an annualized rate of 6.85 million, seasonally adjusted, the NAR said, its highest level since November of 2005 and a 26.6 percent jump from a year-ago.
    Buyers have been aided by low mortgage rates after the Federal Reserve slashed its benchmark lending rate to near-zero in March as the pandemic arrived.
    “Considering that we remain in a period of stubbornly high unemployment relative to pre-pandemic levels, the housing sector has performed remarkably well this year,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.
    Existing home sales rose in all regions of the United States, and unsold inventory in October fell to a record low of 2.5 months at the current rate. That pushed prices up 15.5 percent from the same month last year to a median of $313,000.
    “Homebuilders’ confidence has soared even though the actual production has not,” Yun said, predicting sales would rise 10 percent next year.

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