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Existing Home Sales Dip After Hitting 4-Year High

By NPR Staff | 10/21/2013

There were 1.9 percent fewer existing homes sold in September than in August, the National Association of Realtors said Monday.

But the slip came after two months when sales were touching four-year highs and as mortgage rates were edging up. So there's a case to be made that a bit of a drop shouldn't be too much of a surprise. Also, sales in September were still 10.7 percent above the pace of the same month a year earlier — a sign that the housing sector's recovery hasn't been stopped in its tracks.

What's more, The Associated Press writes that "many economists expect home sales will remain healthy, especially now that [mortgage] rates have stabilized and remain near historically low levels."

We'll learn much more about how the economy fared in September when the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its delayed monthly jobs report at 8:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday. As NPR's Marilyn Geewax has reported for us, the report's released was postponed by the partial government shutdown.

According to Reuters, economists expect to hear that there were 180,000 jobs added to payrolls in September and that the jobless rate was 7.3 percent. If they're right, that would mean the unemployment rate was unchanged from the month before and that job growth picked up just a bit from the initial August figure of 169,000.
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