U.S. existing home sales fell 6.1% in November, surprising Wall Street

Existing home sales drop 6.1% in November, Realtors say

Sales of previously owned homes tumbled 6.1% in November, a far larger drop than Wall Street 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 Assn. 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 quicker 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% fewer deals.

Nationally, November sales were 2.1% higher than November 2013.

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