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Comparatively, the average home price in 20 major cities increased 0.9 percent in August, according to the most recent figures from the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, and the national average existing-home price was $178,000 in the month of October.
As further proof that the housing market is improving, home equity has grown by $760 billion in the past year, spurred by the increasing existing-home sales. “Given that each percentage point of price appreciation translates into an additional $190 billion in home equity,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yu said in the report, “we could see close to a $1 trillion gain next year.”
Record-low interests rates also drove sales figures higher. According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage fell to a record low of 3.38 percent in October, down from 4.07 percent last October.
The effects of Sandy were not immediately obvious in the reports raw data, but Yu said “We expect an impact on Northeastern home sales in the coming months from a pause and delays in storm-impacted regions.”
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