What You Need to Know about October Housing Numbers

Highlights from the latest housing report from the National Association of Realtors

The October housing numbers showed a 3.9% year-over-year increase backed my favorable market conditions. Hiring has been strong; the nation added 277,000 jobs in October. And sub-4%, 30-year fixed mortgage rates continue to make financing a home purchase quite affordable for many buyers.

The National Association of Home Builders remains bullish. David Crowe, their chief economist, said, “There’s enough demand to keep everybody busy.”

Crowe foresees continued improvement in the nation’s economy. “We see the job situation getting better,” he said. “We’re forecasting three million additional jobs in 2016 and another three million in 2017. People are feeling good about their finances.”

Significantly, according to Crowe, that confidence has led to a jump in purchases of household goods like furniture, appliances, and entertainment centers. People are focused on improving their living conditions. That should translate into increasing home sales going forward. There is still pent-up demand in the market.

“Many delayed selling because of uncertainties over their jobs,” he said. “As people see a brighter future, they’ll make up for that lost time.”

The strong demand has sent home prices higher. NAR reported that the median home price hit $219,600 in October, nearly 6% higher than 12 months earlier and the 44th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

Regionally sales were strongest in the Northeast, where they changed little compared with September. The median price of homes sold during the month was $248,900. Midwestern homes sold at a 0.8% slower pace than a month earlier and at a median price of $172,300. In the South, there was a 3.2% drop in sales, at a median of $188,800. The most expensive region, at a median of $319,000, was the West.

PA home

For a glimpse at what’s out these, check out this Coraopolis, Penn. home (pictured above), where $685,000 gets you four bedrooms, three baths and a gorgeous brick exterior.

Les is a Real Estate Market Specialist for Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

Born and raised in Whitestone, N.Y., and never having lived outside of NYC, Les is a graduate of City College of New York in Manhattan. Les switched careers in his late 30s, studying writing at New School and Brooklyn Polytechnic, now the New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering. Les has written for several magazines and copyedited books on early childhood education prior to joining CNNMoney as a personal finance writer, where his main beat was real estate. His wife and partner of 42 years is a retired magazine editor who spent her career at the New York Zoological Society (Bronx Zoo). They are residents of the Upper West Side.

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