Sales of existing US homes rose by the largest amount in more than five years in last month, a real estate trade group said today. The data offer a glimmer of hope that the housing slump could be starting to bottom out. The National Association of Realtors said sales of existing homes rose by 5.5% in September compared to August.
That’s the biggest monthly increase since a 5.6% increase in July 2003, during the five-year housing boom. Even with the gain in sales, prices kept falling. The median sales price has dropped to $191,600, down 9% from a year ago. Inventories of unsold existing homes dropped by 1.6% in September to 4.27 million units, which is still a historically high level.