U.S. existing home sales edge up; market still soft By Reuters

© Reuters. A real estate sign advertising a new home for sale is pictured in Vienna, Virginia

© Reuters. A real estate sign advertising a new home for sale is pictured in Vienna, Virginia

By Jason Lange

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. home sales rose slightly in October and snapped a six-month streak of drops but ongoing weakness in the housing market led a national realtors association to ask the Federal Reserve to take a break from interest rate hikes.

The National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday that existing home sales rose 1.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.22 million units last month.

While that was up slightly from a 5.15 million-unit pace in September, it remained 5.1 percent lower than in October 2017, the sharpest 12-month drop since July 2014.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said rate increases by the Federal Reserve, which has been slowly raising borrowing costs since December 2015, was dragging on the market.

“Demand is being choked off by higher interest rates,” Yun said. “Maybe the Federal Reserve can take a little pause in their interest rate hikes to give the chance for the housing market to be on firmer ground.”

Home sales had fallen in each of the six prior months. A dearth of properties for sale has pushed up prices, sidelining many would-be homeowners.

Data on Tuesday showed homebuilding rose in October on a rebound in multi-family starts but construction of single-family homes fell for a second straight month, underscoring how rising mortgage rates and rising home prices have been sapping demand.

Supply has also been constrained by rising building material costs as well as land and labor shortages.

The Federal Reserve raised borrowing costs in September for the third time this year and is widely expected to hike rates again in December.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast existing home sales rising to 5.20 million from a previously reported 5.15 million. Existing home sales make up about 90 percent of U.S. home sales.

The median house price increased 3.8 percent from one year ago to $255,400 in October.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here