Sales of existing homes were up 2.1% in October, surpassing consensus expectation to reach an annual rate of 4.79 million units, according to data released by the National Association of Realtors Monday. 

Prices also looked hopeful, thanks to an improvement in the national median of 11.1% compared to year-ago levels—the largest jump seen in seven years. Inventories also showed positive signs, with existing-homes available for sales falling to a 5.4-month supply at the current sales pace, the lowest level since February 2006.

“Housing’s cheap, borrowing is cheap, and if you can get credit, it’s a great time to buy,” Ward McCarthy, chief financial economist at New York–based Jefferies & Co. Inc., told Bloomberg. “We’re fighting our way through distressed-property sales.”
 

Claire Easley is a senior editor at Builder.