Existing Home Sales Edge Up

Octobers increase is half a percentage point.

Sales of existing homes, a statistical category that includes single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums and co-ops, rose in October. Sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.24 million units last month, half a percentage point higher than September's revised rate of 6.21 million, the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported on Nov. 28. October 2006s sales rate was 11.5% below the October 2005 rate of 7.05 units, however.

"The demographics of our growing population, historically low and declining mortgage interest rates, and healthy job creation mean the wherewithal is there to buy homes in most of the country, but many buyers remain on the sidelines," notes David Lereah, NARs chief economist. "After a period of price adjustment, we'll see more confidence in the market, and a lift in home sales should be apparent in the first quarter of 2007," he predicts.

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