Industry News

NAR: Existing-home sales may have hit bottom

Economist says sales, prices stabilized in fourth quarter

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Existing-home sales in most states were down from year-ago levels in the fourth quarter, marking the likely bottom for the current housing cycle, while prices in many areas corrected as a result of sellers' willingness to negotiate, according to the latest quarterly surveys by the National Association of Realtors. Total existing-home sales -- including single-family units and condos -- were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.24 million units in the fourth quarter, down 10.1 percent from a 6.94 million-unit level in the fourth quarter of 2005. Even with the general decline, six states showed increases in the sales pace from a year ago and one was unchanged. Complete data for three states were not available. The seasonally adjusted annual rate for a particular quarter represents what the total number of actual sales for a year would be if the relative sales pace for that quarter was maintained for four consecutive quarters. In the fourth quarter, metro-area single-family home...