Existing US home sales rose in October 2014 for the second month in a row, according to National Association of Realtors.
Transactions rose 1.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.26 million in October, their highest annual pace since September 2013 and 2.5 per cent above the same month in 2013 - the first annual climb in a year.
The median existing-home price for all housing types in October also climbed, rising 5.5 per cent year-on-year to $208,300 - the 32nd month in a row of annual gains.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the housing market this year has been a tale of two halves.
"Sales activity in October reached its highest annual pace of the year as buyers continue to be encouraged by interest rates at lows not seen since last summer, improving levels of inventory and stabilizing price growth.
"Furthermore, the job market has shown continued strength in the past six months. This bodes well for solid demand to close out the year and the likelihood of additional months of year-over-year sales increases."
Indeed, improving economic conditions and low interest rates have helped domestic buyers to return to the market and begin climbing the housing ladder once more.
International investors have stepped down their activity in the wake of rising prices and a normalising market, but demand remains strong in key hotspots. In Miamia, for exampple, single-family home and condominium sales surged in October 2014, exceeding record activity in 2013.
Residential real estate sales increased 9.5 per cent year-on-year, with single-family home prices increasing in October for the 35th month in a row.
Values remain at affordable 2004 levels, notes the Miami Association of Realtors, which is good news for local house-hunters, but overseas interest is still high.
In Miami-Dade County, 55.8 per cent of total closed sales in October were all-cash transactions, compared to 61.7 percent in October 2013. Cash sales are the preferred method of payment for 90 per cent of foreign buyers and, in Miami, are still more than double the national figure of 27 per cent - reflecting the much stronger presence of international buyers in the Miami real estate market.
"Miami continues to experience population growth, interest from foreign and domestic second home buyers, and economic expansion,” says 2014 Chairman of the Board of the Miami Association of Realtors Liza Mendez. "The Miami real estate market continues to strengthen due to demand for local properties, as evidenced by sales that exceed record sales activity in 2013."