Existing Home Sales

Home Sales fall to 12-year low

 

From CNN:

Sales of existing homes fell in January to their lowest levels in nearly 12 years, with a real estate group saying buyers delayed purchases in anticipation of government programs to boost the housing market.

The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that existing home sales dropped 5.3% last month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.49 million units from a rate of 4.74 million in December.

January sales were the lowest since July 1997, and were far below the consensus estimate of 4.79 million units, according to a survey of economists compiled by Briefing.com.

The decline comes as some buyers forgo purchases in anticipation of government stimulus efforts aimed at boosting home ownership, according to the NAR.

“Given so much stimulus package discussion in January, some would-be buyers simply sat out for clarity and certainty on the nature of housing stimulus,” said Lawrence Yun, the NAR’s chief economist, in a statement. But sales could pick up in the coming months as prices continue to fall and interest rates ease, Yun said.

Dream on, Lawrence Yun. Weren’t you predicting a turnaround in the last half of 2008?

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