Industry News

Existing-home sales up in September

Real estate sales increase most in the West

Sales of existing single-family homes shot up 3.1 percent in September after two consecutive months of decline, the National Association of Realtors reported today, and reached the third-highest level on record. Existing home sales in September reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.75 million units, up from 6.55 million units in August and up from 6.68 million units in September 2003. The seasonally adjusted rate projects the monthly sales total over a 12-month period. David Lereah, chief economist for the association, said the steady decline in mortgage interest rates since June has bolstered sales. "Since 1971 there have been only five months when mortgage interest rates were lower, and all of those have been during the last year and a half," he said. "The good news is that interest rates have been fairly stable over the last month, hovering near generational lows, and that is increasing the purchasing power of buyers trying to get into the housing market." According to...