According to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales have recently increased this fall for the first time in several months. An increase in activity was seen in three of the four major regions across the United States.

Existing home sales of single families, condominiums, co-ops and townhomes had increased by 1.4% this October to an amount of 5.22 million. Sales are still 5.1% lower than this time last year, but the increase for the month has been a positive sign.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says increasing housing inventory has brought more buyers to the market. “After six consecutive months of decline, buyers are finally stepping back into the housing market,” he said. “Gains in the Northeast, South and West – a reversal from last month’s steep decline or plateau in all regions – helped overall sales activity rise for the first time since March 2018.”

The median existing home price for all property types has still continued to increase for the 80th straight month with prices up 3.8% over that of this time last year.

Inventory levels had decreased by the end of the month yet they were actually higher than this time last year. This has brought unsold inventory to a 4.4 month’s supply which is up from 3.9 months from last year at this time.

In the mortgage rate arena, Freddie Mac has reported that the average commitment rate for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage is at 4.83% which is up from 4.63% from just recently in September.

“As more inventory enters the market and we head into the winter season, home price growth has begun to slow more meaningfully,” said Yun. “This allows for much more manageable, less frenzied buying conditions.”