Existing Home Sales Slip In November

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Sales of previously owned homes slipped in November, according to the National Association of Realtors. The decline follows a calendar-year high in October and brings sales to their lowest level since May. Still, existing-home sales were above year-before levels for the second straight month. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said sales activity was choppy in November despite mortgage rates falling to their lowest levels of the year. According to Yun, the number of real estate investors active in the market is declining as home prices rise. And, in fact, a closer look at the numbers reveals fewer all-cash sales and individual investors active in the market. Instead, the number of first-time buyers has rebounded, climbing to 31 percent of all November sales, the highest percentage in more than two years. Also affecting November sales totals, the number of homes available for sale is falling. Total housing inventory was down 6.7 percent in November. Tighter inventory, however, is due largely to seasonal factors, as fewer people put their homes up for sale during winter months. Also in the report, the median existing-home price for all housing types was $205,300 in November, 5 percent above last year. More here.

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