Sales of previously owned homes fell in December for a third straight month, evidence that housing demand was starting to falter at the end of a record year.
Home sales fell 5.7 percent to a 6.60 million annual rate, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. Sales, which have been slowing from a record monthly pace reached in June, still finished 2005 at an all-time high of 7.072 million.
Sales were expected to fall to a 6.87 million annual rate from 6.97 million in November, according to the median of 59 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey of economists. Forecasts ranged from 6.75 million to 7 million.
The supply of homes for sale, another measure of housing demand, fell to 2.796 million in December from 2.924 million the month before. That represents 5.1 months’ worth at the current sales pace, up from 5 months’ worth in November.
The NAR December EHS data can be found here:
In the Northeast sales were flat in December, however, compared with last year sales were down -3.5%, the second highest behind the West that came in at a -11.4%.
Median Home Price has fell again in the Northeast to $245,000 in December from a high of $254,000 set in August. This represents a decline of approximately 3.5%.