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12/19/2013 10:30:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Existing Homes Sales Decline for Third Month

Existing home sales declined 4.3% for the third consecutive month in November to the lowest level of the year, the National Association of Realtors said Dec. 19.

Sales fell to an annual rate of 4.9 million, the weakest pace since December 2012.

The November level was lower than economists’ median forecast of 5.02 million, Bloomberg News reported.

“We’ve seen a trend of low numbers, but I’m still not worried,” Anika Khan, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities, told Bloomberg. “If buyers expect rates to increase, which we do expect at some point, those would-be buyers that have access to credit are going to jump into the market.”

Sales declined in all four regions of the United States. The West was highest with an 8.5% decrease, followed by 4.1% in the Midwest, 3% in the Northeast and 2.4% in the South.

Existing-home sales, which are tabulated when a purchase contract closes, are recovering from a 13-year low of 4.11 million in 2008 after reaching a record 7.08 million in 2005, Bloomberg reported.

By Transport Topics

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