Existing home sales improved in October

According to data released Monday by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), existing-home sales in October rose 1.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.97 million.

Compared to a year ago, the current figure is up 13.5%.

“Home sales have been stuck in a narrow range despite several improving factors that generally lead to higher home sales such as job creation, rising rents and high affordability conditions," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "Many people who are attempting to buy homes are thwarted in the process."

An ongoing positive trend is a steady decline in the number of homes on the market, according to the NAR. Total housing inventory at the end of October fell 2.2% to 3.33 million existing homes available for sale, which represents an 8.0-month supply at the current sales pace, down from an 8.3-month supply in September. Inventories have been trending gradually down since setting a record of 4.58 million in July 2008.