The seasonally adjusted pace of existing-home sales in the U.S. ticked up 1.5 percent in October to an annualized rate of 5.26 million, the highest annualized rate since September 2013 and the first time since October 2013 that the rate has been higher on a year-over-year basis (up 2.5 percent).

At the same time, the inventory of unsold homes fell 2.6 percent to 2.22 million, 5.2 percent higher than at the same time last year.

The share of first-time buyers last month remains at 29 percent, unchanged for the past four months and the lowest level in nearly 30 years, while the percentage of individual investors ticked up from 14 to 15 percent, down from 19 percent in October of 2013.

And in the West, existing-home sales dropped by 5.0 percent in October to an annual rate of 1.14 million and remains 3.4 percent lower on a year-over-year basis.

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