The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales slipped below a 5 million units per year pace in October. October sales reached a 4.97-million-unit seasonally adjusted annualized rate, down 20.7% from the same month last year. Single family existing home sales fell to a rate of 4.37 million units, down 20.8% from October, 2006.
Through the first ten months of 2007, some 4.90 million existing homes have been sold.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said, “As noted last month, temporary mortgage problems were peaking back in August when many of the sales closed in October were being negotiated. We continue to see the biggest impact in high-cost markets that rely on jumbo loans,” he said. “Mortgage availability has improved as evidenced by much lower mortgage interest rates and a sharp jump in FHA endorsements for home purchases.”
According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 6.38% in October, unchanged from September; the rate was 6.36% in October 2006. Last week, Freddie Mac reported the 30-year fixed rate fell to 6.20%.