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Financial News: U.S. Existing Home Sales Show Sharp Pullback In

U.S. Existing Home Sales Show Sharp Pullback In November

12/19/2019 - 10:22:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - A report released by the National Association of Realtors on Thursday showed a much bigger than expected pullback in U.S. existing home sales in the month of November.

NAR said existing home sales tumbled by 1.7 percent to an annual rate of 5.35 million in November after jumping by 1.5 percent to a revised 5.44 million in October.

Economists had expected existing home sales to dip by 0.4 percent to a rate of 5.44 million from the 5.46 million originally reported for the previous month.

Despite the much bigger than expected monthly decrease, existing home sales in November were still up by 2.7 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

NAR's chief economist Lawrence Yun also said the drop in sales in November is not a cause for worry, noting, "Sales will be choppy when inventory levels are low, but the economy is otherwise performing very well with more than 2 million job gains in the past year."

The report also said the median existing home price for all housing types was $271,300 in November, up 0.1 percent from $271,000 in October and up 5.4 percent from $257,400 a year ago.

Meanwhile, total housing inventory slumped to 1.64 million units in November from 1.77 million units in October, falling to the lowest level since March.

The unsold inventory represents 3.7 months of supply at the current sales pace, down from 3.9 months in October. Unsold inventory totals have declined for five straight months, constraining home sales, NAR said.

NAR said single-family home sales slid 1.2 percent to a rate of 4.79 million in November, while existing condominium and co-op sales plunged by 5.1 percent to a rate of 560,000.

The report also showed the decrease in existing home sales came as steep drops in sales in the South and West more than offset increases in sales in the Northeast and Midwest.

Next Monday, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release a separate report on new home sales in the month of November.

New home sales are expected to decrease by another 0.7 percent to an annual rate of 728,000 in November after falling by 0.7 percent to a rate of 733,000 in October.

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