US home sales reach strongest pace in nearly a decade

Markets Associated Press

FILE - This Tuesday, May 24, 2016, file photo shows a home for sale in Andover, Mass. On Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016, the National Association of Realtors reports on October sales of existing homes. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

FILE - This Tuesday, May 24, 2016, file photo shows a home for sale in Andover, Mass. On Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016, the National Association of Realtors reports on October sales of existing homes. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File) (The Associated Press)

Americans bought homes in October at the fastest pace in nearly decade, helped out by low mortgage rates that have since started to climb following the presidential election of Donald Trump.

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The National Association of Realtors says sales of existing homes rose 2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.6 million. That is the strongest pace since February 2007.

A stable job market and historically cheap borrowing costs have spurred demand from homebuyers this year. Still, sales growth has been tempered somewhat by accelerating prices and a shortage of properties on the market.

Sales listings have fallen 4.3 percent over the past year to 2.02 million homes. The supply shortage has pushed up the median sales price of existing homes 6 percent from a year ago to $232,200.