Rising inventories tempering prices, existing home sales resume slide

By Jann Swanson | Mortgage News Daily

Existing home sales finished up the year on a decidedly sour note. After putting together consecutive increase in October and November and ending a six-month losing streak, the National Association of Realtors® reports sales plummeted 6.4 percent in December.

Sales of previously owned single-family houses, townhouses, condos and cooperative apartments were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.99 million compared to 5.32 million in November. Existing home sales, which were already at a 7-1/2 year low in November and down 7.0 percent from a year earlier are now 10.3 percent lower than from the 5.56 percent pace last December.

Single-family home sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.45 million, compared to 4.71 million in November, and 10.1 percent below the 4.95 million in annualized sales a year ago. Condo and co-op sales fared even worse, dropped 12.9 percent month-over-month to an annual rate of 540,000 units, an 11.5 percent annual downturn.

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