US home sales increased more than expected in October as hurricane-related disruptions dissipated, but a chronic shortage of houses which is pushing prices beyond the reach of some first-time buyers remains an obstacle.
The National Association of Realtors said on Tuesday that existing home sales rose 2.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million units last month. September’s sales pace was revised down to 5.37 million units from the previously reported 5.39 million units.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast home sales rising 0.7 percent to a 5.42 million-unit rate in October. The NAR said sales in Houston and Jacksonville, regions which bore the brunt of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, had rebounded. Sales in South Florida, however, remained weak last month.
The Realtors group said it expected activity in the areas affected by the storms to fully recover by the end of the year. However, it cautioned that a proposed US…