Markets & Economy

Existing-home sales fall as NAR cites 5 headwinds

Inventory up 7.3 percent from a year ago

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Home sales fell in January due to five headwinds, most of which will continue to frustrate housing activity until home supply and the positive effects of job growth increase, the National Association of Realtors reported. Existing-home sales fell by 5.1 percent from December to January, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.62 million -- their lowest level since July 2012.  January sales were also down 5.1 percent on an annual basis, NAR said. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said this winter's unusually cold weather has delayed some sales until the spring, but cited a number of other factors for January's slump in purchases. "e can’t ignore the ongoing headwinds of tight credit, limited inventory, higher prices and higher mortgage interest rates," Yun said in a statement. "These issues will hinder home sales activity until the positive factors of job growth and new supply from higher housing starts begin to make an impact.” The inventory shortage, long-cited as a ...