When the National Association of Realtors announced that existing single-family home sales had dropped 11.7% in September, a shudder ran throughout the remodeling industry. After revising the seasonally adjusted annual rate up in August to 5.54 million units, the NAR revised it down to an annual rate of 4.89 million units in September, 5.2% below activity a year ago.
What didn’t hit the front page was that David Lereah, NAR chief economist, already had seen sales activity recovering in October. Existing single-family home sales for October rose 5.5%, to a 5.17 million-unit pace. The NAR projects total 2001 sales of 5.19 million units, an increase of 1.3% from 2000. If that figure is reached, it would be the second-highest total for existing-home sales on record.