Existing home sales bounced back, while housing starts were up, and lay-offs continued to hover at nearly a 40-year low.

Sales of existing homes of all types rose 4.7 percent in September to hit an annual rate of 5.55 million, the National Association of Realtors reported last week. This was the second-highest monthly pace since February 2007. Compared annually, September’s pace was 8.8 percent higher than September 2014, marking the 12th consecutive month of year-over-year increases.

“September home sales bounced back solidly after slowing in August and are now at their second highest pace since February 2007 (5.79 million),” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “While current price growth around 6 percent is still roughly double the pace of wages, affordability has slightly improved since the spring and is helping to keep demand at a strong and sustained pace.”

Looking at prices, the median price for existing homes grew 6.1 percent to $221,900 from September 2014’s $209,100. This could be due in part to narrowing inventory. The number of existing homes for sale dropped 2.6 percent to 2.21 million in September, representing a 4.8-month supply at September’s sale rate. A six-month supply is typically considered optimal.