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NAR: National home sales lose momentum in November

Dec 24, 2014

After hitting their highest level of the year, existing-home sales slid in November as housing supply showed some tightening, according to the National Association of REALTORS. All major regions experienced a decline in sales compared to a month earlier.

Total existing-home sales, including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, fell 6.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.93 million in November from a downwardly-revised 5.25 million in October, said NAR. Sales dropped to their lowest annual pace since May (4.91 million), but are above year-over-year levels (up 2.1 percent from last November) for the second straight month.  

 “Fewer people bought homes last month despite interest rates being at their lowest levels of the year,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. He noted that sales activity was “choppy” throughout the country in November and that housing inventory had begun its seasonal decline. he said. “The stock market swings in October may have impacted some consumers’ psyches and, therefore, led to fewer November closings. Furthermore, rising home values are causing more investors to retreat from the market.”

The median existing-home price for all housing types in November was $205,300, which is 5.0 percent above November 2013. This marks the 33rd consecutive month of year-over-year price gains.

 “Lagging homebuilding activity continues to hamstring overall housing supply and is still too low in relation to this year’s promising job growth,” says Yun. “Much faster price and rent appreciation – easily exceeding wage growth – will occur next year unless new construction picks up measurably.”

NAR reported that November existing-home sales in the Northeast declined 4.2 percent to an annual rate of 680,000, but are still 4.6 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $246,100, which is 1.3 percent above a year ago.

Click here to read the full report.

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