Home sales jumped in October, rising far more than expected as First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit offset fears about joblessness.

Sales of existing homes increased by 10.1% to a 6.10 million annual rate from 5.54 million in September, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said Monday.

Total housing inventory at the end of October fell 3.7 percent to 3.57 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 7.0-month supply at the current sales pace, down from an 8.0-month supply in September.

The supply of homes on the market is now at the lowest level in over two-and-a half years getting closer to a general balance between buyers and sellers,NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said.

Even though the US unemployment rate is at 10.2% and rising, the tax credit, low prices and mortgage rates have drawn in buyers. The median price for an existing home continued to take a dip last month. It was $173,100, down 7.1% from $186,400 in October 2008. The average 30-year mortgage rate was 4.95% in October, down from 5.06% in September, Freddie Mac data showed.

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