The pace of previously owned home sales slowed slightly in September, according to a closely watched reading from an industry trade group Friday, but the long-battered market still showed signs of a recent recovery.
Sales of existing homes sold at an annual rate of 4.75 million, according to the report from the National Association of Realtors. That was down from the 4.83 million pace the previous month but up 11% from the rate of sales a year earlier. In fact, September was the second best monthly sales pace in more than two years, trailing only the strong August reading.
The recovery in real estate has been picking up steam in recent months, helped by a number of factors all coming together.
Mortgage rates are near record lows, pushed down by the Federal Reserve’s decision to buy $40 billion in mortgages in an effort to spur greater economic growth. The low rates, coupled with years of weak home sales, have resulted in affordable housing prices, and the recent rise in home prices is attracting some buyers to the market who were waiting for prices to bottom out.