Existing home sales rose 4.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.55 million, the second-highest monthly level since Feb. 2007 and an 8.8% rise from the same month of 2014. Economists polled by MarketWatch expected a 5.34 million sales rate. The National Association of Realtors attributed the improvement in the housing market to low mortgage rates, an improving jobs environment and a slight thawing in credit availability. There were 2.21 million available homes for sale, down 3% from August. At the current sales pace, it would take 4.8 months to exhaust the current inventory, lower than the 5.4 months during September of 2014. The median price for a home was $221,900, up 6.1% from the same month of 2014.
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