Existing home sales fell 2.2% in October after two months of gains, to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.43 million. Even as home sales languished, the Q3 GDP was revised upward in figures released Tuesday by the Department of Commerce.
According to data released on Tuesday from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), September’s sales figures were at 4.53 million. Year-to-date sales were down 2.9% for 2010, at 4.149 million, while in 2009 at this time sales totaled 4.272 million.
Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, said in a statement that this pattern will most likely continue.
“The housing market is experiencing an uneven recovery,” he said, “and a temporary foreclosure stoppage in some states is likely to have held back a number of completed sales.” Still, he noted, sales are no longer bottoming and are “attempting to settle into normal sustainable levels.” He added that he expects sales to continually improve, due to improving conditions in the job market and low prices; they should top 5 million, he said, by the spring of 2011.
Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics, pointed out that sales were “slightly below the consensus” of 4.48 million. “The dip in sales,” he said in a statement, “is dead in line with the decline in the pending sales index for September.” Sales had dropped after the tax credit expired at the end of April, but then recovered somewhat during August and September.