Existing-home sales increased more than expected in September, by 4.7%, at an annualized pace of 5.55 million.
Economists had estimated that sales of existing single-family homes, condos, and co-ops rose 1.5% at an annualized pace of 5.39 million.
The prior period's data, supplied by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), were revised to a 5% decline (from 4.8%) at an annualized pace of 5.30 million.
Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the NAR, said in the release, "September home sales bounced back solidly after slowing in August and are now at their second highest pace since February 2007 (5.79 million). While current price growth around 6 percent is still roughly double the pace of wages, affordability has slightly improved since the spring and is helping to keep demand at a strong and sustained pace."
Single-family home sales rose 5.3% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.93 million month-on-month, while exsting condo and co-op sales were up 3.3% at a rate of 620,000 units.
The median existing-home price jumped 6.1% year-on-year to $221,900.
Housing inventory fell 2.6% to 2.21 million.
"Despite persistent inventory shortages, the housing market has made great strides this year, backed by an increasing share of pent–up sellers realizing the increased equity they've gained from rising home prices and using it towards trading up or moving into a smaller home," Yun said.
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