NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Homebuyers scooped up more previously owned homes in October, slowly putting a dent in the huge inventory on the market, an industry report showed Monday.
Sales of existing homes rose 1.4% last month to an annual rate of 4.97 million homes, up from a downwardly revised 4.90 million homes in September, the National Association of Realtors reported Monday.
That was higher than expected. Economists polled by Briefing.com had expected an annual rate of 4.85 million homes in October.
Compared to a year ago, the rate of existing home sales has jumped 13.5%, from 4.38 million units.
Continued gains in home sales have lightened up the inventory of homes on the market, the report showed. Total housing inventory at the end of October slipped 2.2% to 3.33 million existing homes for sale, representing an 8-month supply at the current sales pace. That’s down from an 8.3-month supply in September, and continues an ongoing downward trend since hitting a record high of 4.58 million in July 2008.