Pending home sales dipped 1.1% in October compared to September and were down 2.2% compared to October 2013, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports.
Despite this, Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, says contract signings have been coming in at a ‘healthy’ pace for the past six months. Helping to drive the steady flow of contract signings, he says, are historically low interest rates, slower price appreciation and increased inventory.
‘In addition to low interest rates, buyers entering the market this autumn are being lured by the increase in homes for sale and less competition from investors paying in cash,’ Yun says. ‘Demand is holding steady but would be more robust if it weren't for lagging wage growth and tight credit conditions that continue to hamper those individuals looking for relief from rising rents.’
The median existing-home price for all housing types (including condos) in October was $208,300, an increase of 5.5% compared to October 2013.
‘The increase in median prices for existing homes has leveled off, representing a healthier pace that has kept affordability in-check for buyers in many parts of the country while giving more previously stuck homeowners with little or no equity the ability to sell,’ says Yun.
NAR's recently released annual survey shows that a typical seller over the past year had been in their home for 10 years before selling – an all-time survey high for tenure of home.