U.S. existing home sales retreat in October after two monthly gains

08:07, November 24, 2010      

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U.S. existing-home sales declined in October after two strong monthly rally, a leading industry group reported on Tuesday.

Existing-home sales, including completed transactions of single-family houses, apartments and condominiums, declined 2.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.43 million units in October from 4.53 million units in September, and were 25.9 percent below the 5.98 million-unit level in October 2009, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said in a report.

"The housing market is experiencing an uneven recovery, and a temporary foreclosure stoppage in some states is likely to have held back a number of completed sales," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.

"Based on current and improving job market conditions, and from attractive affordability conditions, sales should steadily improve to healthier levels of above 5 million by spring of next year," he added.

Year-to-date there were 4.149 million existing-home sales in the United States, down 2.9 percent from 4.272 million units compared with the same period in 2009, according to the report.

Analysts held that the performances of the U.S. housing market in recent months were heavily influenced by a government tax incentive, under which new home buyers could take advantage of tax credits of up to 8,000 dollars. Buyers initially had to close their purchases by June 30, but Congress extended the deadline to the end of September.

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage fell to a record low 4.23 percent in October from 4.35 percent in September, while the rate was 4.95 percent in October 2009.

The national median existing home price for all housing types was 170,500 U.S. dollars in October, down 0.9 percent from a year ago, according to the report.



Source: Xinhua

(Editor:李佳)

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