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Here’s Why October Was a Good Month for the Housing Market

Despite the devastation Hurricane Sandy wrought on the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, data released by the National Association of Realtors on Monday showed that the housing market is continuing to recover.

In the month of October, the sales of existing homes in the United States rose 2.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted 4.79 million, an increase from 4.69 million in September. When compared year-over-year, existing home sales rose 10.9 percent from the 4.32 million-unit level in October 2011.

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While existing-home sales are far from matching their 7 million-unit level recorded in 2005, sales have recovered from the July 2010 low of 3.3 million. However, even though sales results for the month were strong, they missed analysts’ expectations.  Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected 4.8 million.

NAR data also showed that housing prices rose during the month, due to lower levels of inventory supply. By the end of October, total housing inventory fell 1.4 percent to 2.14 million homes available for sale. At the current sales pace, this represents a 5.4-month supply, which is a decrease from the 5.6-month supply recorded in September and the lowest housing supply figure since February 2006 when it was 5.2 months.