Industry News

U.S. real estate prices rise, sales slip

Interests rates to blame for sliding sales, says Realtor economist

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The rate of existing-home sales in November – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – fell 1.7 percent from October 2005 and slid 0.1 percent below the rate in November 2004, the National Association of Realtors trade group reported today. This seasonally adjusted sales rate stood at 6.97 million units in November, compared to 7.09 in October. The rate is a projection of a monthly sales total over a 12-month period, accounting for seasonal fluctuations in sales activity. The median existing-home price in November was 13.2 percent higher than in November 2004 but 1.4 percent lower than in October 2005. David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, said higher mortgage interest rates were responsible for moderating sales. "The current pace of home sales activity remains historically strong – only eight months have had a higher sales pace," he said. "A modest downtrend, to a sales volume that is expected to be the second-best year ever in 2006, will be good...