Existing Home Sales Fall Below Year-Ago Levels for First Time in 29 Months

Sales of existing homes fell 4.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.9 million for November, according to a National Association of Realtors (NAR) report released today.

After dropping off 3.2% in October, analysts had expected a slightly smaller dip to 5.02 million. Compared to November 2012, sales are down 1.2%. According to the NAR, this is the first report in 29 months that shows current sales less than year-ago sales.

The numbers include completed transactions on single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops.

For the same month, the housing inventory fell 0.9% to 2.09 million existing homes. At the current sales rate, this represents a 5.1-month supply of existing homes, slightly higher than October's 4.9 month supply.

As sales fall, seasonally adjusted home prices continue to rise. Compared to a year ago, November's median $196,200 price tag is 9.4% higher. The median time on the market increased two days from October to 56, and is 14 days less than November 2012 times.

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