Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

A U.S. flag decorates a for-sale sign at a home in the Capitol Hill neighbourhood of Washington, in this August 21, 2012 file photo.

JONATHAN ERNST/Reuters

U .S. home resales unexpectedly rose in October, a sign that slow improvements in the country's labour market are helping the housing sector recovery gain traction.

The National Association of Realtors said on Monday that existing home sales climbed 2.1 per cent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.79 million units.

That was above the median forecast of a 4.75 million-unit rate in a Reuters poll.

Story continues below advertisement

NAR economist Lawrence Yun said superstorm Sandy, which slammed in the U.S. East Coast on Oct. 29, had only a slight impact on home resales. The only region where the pace of sales slipped was the Northeast. But Yun said the storm could temporarily hold back the pace of sales in November and December.

Nationwide, the median price for a home resale was $178,600 (U.S.) in October, up 11.1 per cent from a year earlier as fewer people sold their homes under distressed conditions compared to the same period in 2011. Distressed sales include foreclosures.

The nation's inventory of existing homes for sale fell 1.4 per cent during the month to 2.14 million, the lowest level since December 2002.

At the current pace of sales, inventories would be exhausted in 5.4 months, the lowest rate since February 2006.

The price increase last month was measured against October 2011, and since then distressed sales have fallen to 24 per cent of total sales from 28 per cent.

The share of distressed sales, which also include those w h ere the sales price was below the amount owed on the home, was flat from September.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies