US home sales continue to lag as inventory tightens

Housing supply south of the border remains a major barrier to existing home sales and the driver of rising prices.

New data from the National Association of Realtors reveals that existing sales gained 2% in October, the strongest pace since early summer. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million sales is 0.9% below October 2016.

"While the housing market gained a little more momentum last month, sales are still below year ago levels because low inventory is limiting choices for prospective buyers and keeping price growth elevated," said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

Demand remains strong as the labour market and wage growth gather pace but there have been 68 months of median price gains. In October, the median price gained a further 5.5% year-over-year to U$247,000.

Housing inventory was down 3.2% in October to 1.8 million homes, almost 11% below the supply a year earlier.

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