Industry News

Existing-home sales dive 12.8% in August

NAR attributes decline to temporary mortgage problems

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Existing-home sales dropped in August when mortgage availability problems were peaking, according to the National Association of Realtors. Total existing-home sales -- including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops -- were down 12.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.5 million units in August from a year-ago level of 6.31 million, and are 4.3 percent below the 5.75 million-unit pace in July. Lawrence Yun, NAR senior economist, expected the decline. "The unusual disruptions in the mortgage market, including a significant rise in jumbo loan rates, resulted in a fairly high number of postponed or cancelled sales, with many buyers having to search for other financing when loan commitments fell through," he said in a statement. "Lower sales contributed to a buildup of unsold inventory." Yun expects similar results for home sales in September. "Once we get through these disruptions, we'll get a better sense of where the actual market is in late fall as conditions...