US Existing-Home Sales Fell 6.1 Percent in November, Surprising Wall Street

(Los Angeles Times/TNS) -

Sales of previously owned homes tumbled 6.1 percent in November, a far larger drop than Wall Street had expected.

U.S. sales skidded to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.93 million from a 5.25 million rate in October, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. Analysts had predicted sales would decline, but only to 5.2 million, according to FactSet.

The housing recovery has plateaued this year, after home prices climbed far more quickly than incomes in recent years. Facing higher prices, many families and even investors have left the market.

An erratic Wall Street may have further hurt sales last month, said Lawrence Yun, the Realtor group’s chief economist.

“The stock-market swings in October may have impacted some consumers’ psyche and therefore led to fewer November closings,” he said.

Sales fell in all regions of the country last month compared with October. In the West, there were 9.6 percent fewer deals.

Nationally, November sales were 2.1 percent higher than in November 2013.