PhotoSales of previously-owned homes rose in October for the second month in a row and are now at their highest level since February 2007.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports total sales -- completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops -- were up 2.0% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.60 million.

Sales were higher in all major regions saw monthly.

A convincing autumn revival

"October's strong sales gain was widespread throughout the country and can be attributed to the release of the unrealized pent-up demand that held back many would-be buyers over the summer because of tight supply," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "Buyers are having more success lately despite low inventory and prices that continue to swiftly rise above incomes."

The median existing-home price for all housing types was $232,200, up 6.0% from a year earlier, marking the 56th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

Sales by region

  • Existing-home sales in the Northeast climbed 1.4% in October to an annual rate of 750,000 and are now 1.4% above a year ago. The median price was up 2.9% from a year earlier to $255,500.
  • In the Midwest, sales grew to an annual rate of 1.6 million, up 2.3 %, and are now 6.3% above a year ago. The median price of $181,500 is a gain of 5.8% from October 2015.
  • Sales in the South jumped 2.8% to an annual rate of 2.22 million, a year-over-year advance of 4.7%. The median price was $202,300, up 7.4% from a year ago.
  • Previously-owned homes in the West sold at an annual rate of 1.27 million, up 0.8% from September and 10.4% higher than the same time a year previous. The median price rose 7.8% from October 2015 to $345,800.

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