U.S. Existing-Home Sales Unexpectedly Rise to Highest Since 2005

(Bloomberg) — Sales of previously owned U.S. homes unexpectedly rose in October to the highest level in almost 15 years, extending a housing market boom fueled by record-low mortgage rates and buyers’ desire for properties in the suburbs.

Contract closings increased 4.3% from the prior month to an annualized 6.85 million, the strongest pace since November 2005, according to National Association of Realtors data released Thursday. The October rate exceeded all economists’ forecasts in a Bloomberg survey, which had a median estimate of 6.47 million.



chart: U.S. previously owned home sales unexpectedly rise to strongest since 2005


© Bloomberg
U.S. previously owned home sales unexpectedly rise to strongest since 2005

The median selling price jumped 15.5% from a year earlier on an unadjusted basis to a record-high of $313,000, reflecting more sales of upper-end properties.

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The report offers offers more evidence that the housing sector is providing a bigger push for an economic recovery at risk of a bigger slowdown

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Furniture shortage boosts sales of furnished homes in NYC

Josh and Nicole Slavitt are model homeowners — and not only because they got their Long Branch, NJ, beach home up and running some 12 hours after they bought it.

It’s because the roughly 1,700-square-foot model unit at The Lofts Pier Village — with three bedrooms, partial ocean views and two balconies — came fully furnished with a plush sofa, a dining table, beds and weather-resistant furniture for the outdoor spaces. It was all included in the deal, which closed in July. (Units now start at $619,000.)

Not only did buying a turn-key apartment help the family of five get the most out of summer — the furniture also kept the Slavitts from risking exposure to COVID-19. They didn’t have to go inside home stores or interact with deliverymen, movers and furniture assemblers.

“We wanted to mitigate that,” said Nicole, 39, a Century 21 real estate agent, of the need

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The Best Black Friday Furniture Sales & Deals For 2020

If you’re looking to update your space with some new furniture for the holiday season and beyond, there’s no reason to wait until Black Friday to get a good deal. Lots of retailers are getting a big jump on pushing sales live well before the main event, so if replacing your decade-old sectional is long overdue or you want to invest in a new ergonomic desk to work from home, now is the time.

Tip: Bookmark this page for easy access to the best Black Friday furniture sales. We’ll be updating it frequently with the latest deals and info from more retailers.

And while many retailers are offering savings sitewide, others are continually running special promotions, such as limited time offers or deals on one or more categories, like dining furniture or living room seating.

The bottom line? Don’t delay—especially if you’ve had your eye on a particular

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Home builder confidence surges to new record high as sales volume grows

Home builders are still upbeat about the state of the housing market as buyers continue to scoop up newly-built properties.


Getty Images

The numbers: The construction industry’s outlook improved again in November, according to research from a trade group released Monday.

The National Association of Home Builders’ monthly confidence index rose five points to a reading of 90 in November, a record high, the trade group said Tuesday. It is the fourth consecutive month that the index has hit a new record high.

Index readings over 50 are a sign of improving confidence. Back in April and May, the index dropped below 50 as pandemic concerns mounted.

What happened: The index that measures
sentiment regarding current sales conditions increased six points to 96, while
the index of expectations for future sales over the next six months rose one
point to 89. The gauge regarding prospective buyers increased three points to

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Home Depot boosts staff pay by $1 billion after uninterrupted sales surge

By Uday Sampath Kumar



a sign on the side of a building lit up at night: The logo of Down Jones Industrial Average stock market index listed company Home Depot is seen in Encinitas, California


© Reuters/Mike Blake
The logo of Down Jones Industrial Average stock market index listed company Home Depot is seen in Encinitas, California


(Reuters) – Home Depot Inc said on Tuesday it will spend about $1 billion more on employees’ wages annually as the home improvement chain benefits from a sustained surge in demand for tools and building materials due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Home Depot’s blue-chip stock, up 28% this year, fell 2.5% in early trading, despite the company beating quarterly sales and profit estimates.

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Demand for home improvement products have remained elevated since coronavirus lockdowns started in March, as Americans spending more time at home due to limited options for travel or leisure activities use their discretionary income on minor home remodeling and repair work.

The heavy activity has, however, also led Home Depot to spend $1.7 billion in temporary pay and benefits

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Home Depot’s $300 giant skeleton drove record Halloween sales

  • Home Deport has seen record sales numbers as the pandemic has kept customers home and led to a surge in home improvement projects. 
  • The company’s latest quarter was particularly big, and few items symbolize that success better than the wildly popular 12-foot skeleton: Executives say it sold out before October even started, despite a $300 price tag.
  • “Halloween was the strongest event we’ve ever had,” Home Depot executives said on an investor call Tuesday morning.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

In a year like 2020, it’s no surprise that a lot of people were in the market for a 12-foot giant skeleton.

The absolutely massive Halloween decoration went viral this year, and was so popular with Home Depot shoppers that it sold out before Halloween month even began.

Home Depot was the only place carrying the bony behemoth, and it helped to drive record Halloween sales for the

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Home Depot Shares Fall After Expenses Climb Alongside Sales

(Bloomberg) — Home Depot Inc. shares declined after the home-improvement retailer reported higher costs and a plan to spend $1 billion to boost annual compensation for front-line hourly employees.

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While same-store revenue, a key gauge of performance for retailers, rose 24% in the quarter ended Nov. 1, that also brought higher expenses. Cost of sales, a measure of what the company spends to generate each sale, was up 24% from a year ago, according to the statement. Part of that is due to protective gear for associates and constant cleaning of the stores.

The Atlanta-based retailer has broadly benefited amid the pandemic of 2020 as consumers divert spending that would have gone to travel and entertainment to improving their homes. Unlike other retailers, like Walmart Inc., that are reporting fewer transactions but larger tickets, Home Depot is seeing gains in both metrics. That means shoppers are placing more

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Home Depot earnings: Sales surge means $1 billion more for employees

  • Home Depot Inc said Tuesday it will spend around $1 billion more on employees’ pay annually, as it benefits from a surge in demand for tools, paint, and building materials in the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Overall net sales increased 23.2% to $33.54 billion, beating analysts’ estimate of $32.04 billion.
  • Home Depot have provided staff with temporary weekly bonuses and more hours of paid time off. Some of these will now become permanent, it said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Home Depot said on Tuesday it would spend about $1 billion more on employees’ compensation annually, as the home improvement chain benefits from a sustained surge in demand for tools, paint, and building materials due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With limited options for travel or leisure activities, Americans are spending more time at home and using their discretionary income on minor home remodeling and repair work.

“Despite elevated activity for

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Canadian Housing Market Gets Reality Check with Drop in Sales

(Bloomberg) — Canadian home sales dropped for the first time since April, as the real estate rush of recent months wanes.

National homes sales declined 0.7% in October from a month earlier, the Canadian Real Estate Association reported Monday. Benchmark prices rose 1% from September, bringing the gain since April to 7%.

Canada’s housing market boomed over the summer on record-low interest rates and a surge in demand for more spacious accommodation amid the Covid-19 pandemic, pushing prices and sales to record highs. But recent data suggest real estate is cooling, as more properties become available in some of the country’s largest cities.



graphical user interface, chart: Canadian home sales cool off as pent-up demand from lockdowns wanes


© Bloomberg
Canadian home sales cool off as pent-up demand from lockdowns wanes

“The level of activity seen in the summer months was unsustainable and reflected aggressive utilization of pent-up demand,” Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, said by email. “Now it’s

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Singapore Home Sales Fall After Rules to Deter Market Distortion

(Bloomberg) — Singapore home purchases fell last month after the government curbed a market practice seen to be inflating sales figures and to discourage speculation in the property market.



a tall building in a city: Housing & Development Board (HDB) public housing apartment blocks at Marine Parade, the first public housing built on reclaimed land, stand as ships sit offshore in the Singapore Strait in Singapore, on Monday, Feb. 4, 2020. While governments around the world are struggling to meet the goals of the Paris agreement. Singapore is devising a S$100 billion ($72 billion) plan to safeguard the city against temperatures and floodwaters several times those levels. Since its first reclamation project in the early 19th century, Singapore’s land area has grown by more than 25%. Drive 15 minutes east from the skyscrapers of the financial district and you’ll find a 15 kilometer (9 miles) stretch of beaches and parks where locals cycle, camp and barbecue satay and hotdogs.


© Bloomberg
Housing & Development Board (HDB) public housing apartment blocks at Marine Parade, the first public housing built on reclaimed land, stand as ships sit offshore in the Singapore Strait in Singapore, on Monday, Feb. 4, 2020. While governments around the world are struggling to meet the goals of the Paris agreement. Singapore is devising a S$100 billion ($72 billion) plan to safeguard the city against temperatures and floodwaters several times those levels. Since its first reclamation project in the early 19th century, Singapore’s land area has grown by more than 25%. Drive 15 minutes east from the skyscrapers of the financial district and you’ll find a 15 kilometer (9 miles) stretch of beaches and parks where locals cycle, camp

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