National Association of Realtors (NAR) data shows that home resales were the strongest this year in September but remained below year-earlier levels for the 11th month in a row. Rebounding from an August decline, existing-home sales climbed to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.17 million last month. NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun remarks, “Traditional buyers are entering a less competitive market with fewer investors searching for available homes, but may also face a slight decline in choices due to the fact that inventory generally falls heading into the winter.” Sales improved in all regions compared with August, with the Midwest being the exception. However, first-time buyers continue to be a weak presence in the home-buying market, remaining at 29 percent for the third consecutive month. This demographic has made up less than a 30 percent share in 17 of the last 18 months. Meanwhile, the median price for all housing types covered by the report — single-family houses, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops — increased 5.6 percent from September 2013 to $209,700. Most economists say an improving economy coupled with increasing job gains should eventually result in a stronger housing market. It also helps that average, 30-year mortgage rates remain well under all-time lows. | Read More