Existing-Home Sales Continue Upward Trajectory

by Patrick OToole

Existing-home sales—a leading indicator of future remodeling activity—continued to trend upward in October, marking five consecutive months of month-over-month gains, the National Association of Realtors reported.

Total existing-home sales, including transactions involving single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 4.3 percent from September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.85 million units in October, according to the Washington, DC-based NAR. Overall, sales rose year-over-year, up 26.6 percent from a year ago, the association said. All four major regions reported both month-over-month and year-over-year growth, with the Midwest experiencing the greatest monthly increases.

“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 Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. While coronavirus-induced shutdowns hindered virtually all markets, “the housing industry has mounted an impressive rebound,” Yun said.

“The surge in sales in recent months has now offset the spring market losses,” the economist observed. “With news that a COVID-19 vaccine will soon be available, and with mortgage rates projected to hover around 3 percent in 2021, I expect the market’s growth to continue into 2021, he added, forecasting that existing-home sales will rise by 10 percent, to 6 million units, in 2021.” QR

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