Existing-home sales retreated in October on the heels of two strong monthly gains, according to the National Association of Realtors. Existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, declined 2.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.43 million in October from 4.53 million in September, and are 25.9 percent below the 5.98 million-unit level in October, 2009 when sales were surging prior to the initial deadline for the first-time buyer tax credit. Year-to-date there were 4.149 million existing-home sales, down 2.9 percent from 4.272 million at this time in 2009. The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $170,500 in October, down 0.9 percent from October, 2009. Distressed homes accounted for 34 percent of sales in October, compared with 35 percent in September and 30 percent of sales in October 2009. First-time buyers purchased 32 percent of homes in October, unchanged from September, but down from 50 percent a year ago during the initial surge for the first-time buyer tax credit. Investors accounted for 19 percent of transactions in October; they were 18 percent in September and 14 percent in October, 2009; the balance of sales were to repeat buyers. All-cash sales were at 29 percent in October, unchanged from September but up from 20 percent a year ago.