Sales of previously owned homes rose in October for the second straight month. The 1.5 percent improvement brought sales to their highest level since September 2013. It was also the first month home sales exceeded year-before levels in 12 months. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said sales activity in October was driven by low mortgage rates, stabilizing price growth, and improved inventory levels. And, according to Yun, this year’s increase in inventory should help prevent the price spike and sales slowdown seen last winter. Yun also believes the fact that the job market has shown continued strength for the past six months bodes well for additional sales improvement through the end of the year and into 2015. Regionally, sales were up in the Northeast, South, and Midwest, with the Midwest registering a 5.1 percent sales jump. Sales in the West declined. Also in the report, properties sold in October typically stayed on the market 63 days, which is just over a week longer than the month before. Among homes sold, 33 percent were on the market for less than a month. More here.