Existing home sales rose 2.1% in October as housing starts increased 3.6% and building permits fell 2.7%. Initial jobless claims dropped 41,000 to 410,000 for the week ended 11/16.
• Existing home sales rose 2.1% in October, to an annual pace of 4.79 million units. Sales were up 10.9% from October 2011. The median existing-home price of $178,600 was up 11.1% from a year ago. Total housing inventory continued to decline, falling 1.4% in October to a 5.4 month supply – the lowest since February 2006.
• Housing starts increased 3.6% in October to an annual rate of 894,000 units.
• Building permits declined 2.7% in October to an annual pace of 866,000 units.
• Initial jobless claims dropped 41,000 to a level of 410,000 for the week ended November 17th. This follows a 90,000 increase the previous week, owing in large part to Hurricane Sandy and fiscal uncertainty.