USA home resales post unexpected rise in September

Discarded household materials are set on the yard of a house in Bellaire in Houston. The neighborhood was damaged by Hurricane Harvey flood. On Friday the National Association of Realtors reported home sales in Houston rose 4 percent from a year ago aft

Existing home sales in the States broke a three-month streak of consecutive declines but were nevertheless labelled "meagre" by some observers, who warned that a lack of supply and fast price increases were putting a crimp in buyers' budgets. August's sales pace was unrevised.

NAR said existing home sales climbed by 0.7% to an annual rate of 5.39 million in September from a rate of 5.35 million in August. Texas and Florida make up more than 18% of the nation's existing home sales.

"I don't think anyone expected to see home sales in positive territory this soon after a natural disaster of Harvey's magnitude, but the September report speaks volumes about the incredible resiliency of the Houston real estate market", said HAR chair Cindy Hamann.

Experts reckon that sales in the hurricane-affected areas will rebound further once delays in sales fade. However, the overall housing sector has been slowing as the number of properties available has not kept up with demand.

Some counties in NY, including Tompkins, Seneca, Dutchess and Cayuga, actually had more closed homes during the third quarter this year than in 2016.

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Sales of existing U.S. homes rose in September compared with August, but remained relatively tepid due to limited housing supply and high prices, the National Association of Realtors said Friday.

"There are many investors looking to buy properties as-is, damaged property, at discounted prices, and there were some home sellers willing to take that bite", said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the realtors association.

The state's inventory supply fell 8.6 percent at the end of the third quarter to 6.4-month supply, down from seven months one year earlier.

The median number of days that homes were on the market in September was 34, compared to 39 days a year ago. Sales rose just 3.3% in the West and 1.6% in the Midwest and they were flat in the Northeast.

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