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Home sales are off the charts

November 19, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

FILE - In this April 1, 2020 photo, a "For Sale" sign stands in front of a home that is in the process of being sold in Monroe, Wash., outside of Seattle. U.S. average rates on long-term mortgages rose slightly this week but remain at historically low levels. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday, Sept. 24, that the average rate on the 30-year home loan edged up to 2.90% from 2.87% last week. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Even amid a global pandemic and high unemployment, people are still buying homes at the fastest rate in years.

Home sales rose again in October, at their highest pace in 14 years, according to the National Association of Realtors.

But a record low inventory of available homes and a greater number of luxury homes sold have pushed the median home price up to a record $313,000, almost 16% more than a year ago.

Sales of existing homes — which include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops — were up 4. 3% from September and 26. 6% from a year ago, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6. 85 million in October.

While fewer homes have sold this year over last year at the lowest end of the market because of lack of inventory, sales at the high end are significantly above a year ago, pushing the median price of all homes up.

Nationally, homes sold between $750,000 and $1 million are up 80% from a year ago and those $1 million and over have more than doubled.

"The continued surge in home buying shows not only catch-up sales from earlier in the year when shutdowns dampened real estate activity, but the strength of interest from buyers combined with the opportunity afforded by still record-low mortgage rates," said Danielle Hale, Realtor. com chief economist.

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