National existing-home sales dropped for the third consecutive month in December, and were down 3.1 percent over December 2004, the National Association of Realtors reported today. Total existing-home sales – including single-family, town homes, condominiums and co-ops – fell 5.7 percent in December to an adjusted annual rate of 6.6 million units, down from a revised pace of 7 million in November. The adjusted annual rate is a projection of a monthly sales total over a 12-month period, accounting for seasonal variations. There were 7,072,000 existing-home sales in 2005, up 4.2 percent from 6,784,000 in 2004. This is the fifth consecutive annual record, according to the association's announcement. The trade group began tracking the sales series in 1968. David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, said he expected the monthly sales decline. "This is part of the market adjustment we've been discussing, with a soft landing in sight for the housing sector. The level of home sales act...
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