November existing home sales rose 4.0% to an annualized 4.42 million. It was much weaker than the 5 million expected by consensus, after October was brought down to 4.25 million from the previously reported 4.97 million. While much weaker than expected, the National Association of Realtors warned that benchmark revisions back to 2007 would bring historical figures down. Single family sales rose 4.5% to 3.96 million from 3.78 million in October (was 4.38 million), while condos/coop sales held at 0.47 million (October was revised down from 0.59 million). The months’ supply for homes fell to 7.0 months from 7.7 months in October (was 8.0 months). The median sales prices rose to $164,200 from $160,800 in October but is down 3.5% over last year. The percent jump in November sales was better than expected, but backward revisions showed a housing sector that was even weaker previously believed, with an average 14% fewer homes sold annually between 2007 and 2010, a somber thought as we head into the new year.


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