This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Good News in Housing: Home Sales Up

Stocks in this article: RYLLENHOVDHI

Total housing inventory at the end of October fell 3.7% to 3.57 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 7-month supply at the current sales pace, down from an 8-month supply in September. Unsold inventory totals are 14.9% below a year ago.

The National Association of Realtors was surprised by the extent of the surge in its monthly home sales tracker: "Many buyers have been rushing to beat the deadline for the first-time buyer tax credit that was scheduled to expire at the end of this month. With such a sale spike, a measurable decline should be anticipated in December and early next year before another surge in spring and early summer," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

The supply of homes is at its lowest level since February 2007.

NAR President Vicki Cox Golder, said strong demand by first-time buyers is creating some unusual conditions. "In parts of the country, especially in Southwestern states but also in Florida and suburban Washington, D.C., we've been getting many reports of multiple bids in the lower price ranges with foreclosed properties getting absorbed quickly. In fact, low-end inventory has become very tight in many areas and in some cases buyers are becoming more aggressive."

Single-family home sales rose 9.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.33 million in October from a pace of 4.86 million in September, and are 21.4% above the 4.39 million-unit pace in October 2008. The median existing single-family home price was $173,100 in October, down 6.8% from a year ago, with foreclosed properties driving down the median price across all categories.

Existing condominium and co-op sales surged 13.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 770,000 units in October from 680,000 in September, and are 40.8% above the 547,000-unit level a year ago.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Midwest led the surge, up 14.4% in October to a pace of 1.43 million, and 28.8% above a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $146,600, a gain of 1.1% from October 2008. The lowest regional gain was in the West of 1.6%, or an annual rate of 1.31 million, which was still 12% above a year ago. The median price in the West dropped 14.7% from a year ago to $220,200.

-- Reported by Eric Rosenbaum in New York

Follow TheStreet.com on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Copyright 2009 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
2 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,399.67 +19.26 0.12%
S&P 500 1,904.01 +17.25 0.91%
NASDAQ 4,316.0740 +57.6360 1.35%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs