The real estate market has been one of the strongest sectors of the economy in recent years, but a sharp rebound in home prices and rising mortgage rates are affecting affordability. In fact, home sales in November declined to their worst level of the year.
The National Association of Realtors announced Thursday that total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions of single-family homes, town homes, condos, and co-ops fell 4.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.90 million units last month, compared to 5.12 million units in October. The results were worse than expected.
Economists estimated an annual pace of about 5.1 million units. Sales have now missed expectations for five consecutive months. Furthermore, sales are 1.2 percent below the 4.96 million-unit pace seen in November 2012. This is the first time in 29 months that sales were below year-ago levels.