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Report: More bad news for housing market as pending home sales fall — again

November data shows more signs that home sales continue to struggle nationwide.

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A new year is not bringing any better news about the housing market.

Just about a week after the Florida Realtors and the National Association of Realtors announced that existing home sales continued to crater in November, the national organization says the number of sales of homes going under contract are also falling.

The latest set of data, released Dec. 28, shows pending home sales fell 4% nationally in November, the sixth straight month of month-over-month declines. Year over year, pending sales dropped by 37.8%.

The Realtor’s association’s Pending Home Sales Index, which looks at home sales based on the number of contracts signed but not yet closed, dropped to 73.9.

“Pending home sales recorded the second-lowest monthly reading in 20 years as interest rates, which climbed at one of the fastest paces on record this year, drastically cut into the number of contract signings to buy a home,” Lawrence Yun, the association’s chief economist, says in a statement. “Falling home sales and construction have hurt broader economic activity.”

He says the residential investment component of GDP has fallen for six straight quarters.

The struggles in the housing market aren’t limited to a single geographic area. Pending homes sales in November, when compared with a year ago, fell 34.9% in the Northeast;  31.6% in the Midwest; 38.5% in the South; and 45.7% in the West.

The pending home sales data was released about a week after both the national and state realtors’ groups announced another sharp drop in existing home sales.

In Florida, existing single-family homes sales fell 38.2% in November over the same time period last year. Condominium and town house sales didn’t fare any better, falling 38.9% in November compared with last year.

Nationally, existing home sales across the country were down 35.4% in November from a year ago and 7.7% from October.



Louis Llovio

Louis Llovio is the commercial real estate editor at the Business Observer. Before going to work at the Observer, the longtime business writer worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Maryland Daily Record and for the Baltimore Sun Media Group. He lives in Tampa.

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