Sales of existing homes fell more than forecast in October as foreclosure moratoriums and a lack of credit disrupted the U.S. housing market.
Purchases decreased 2.2 percent to a 4.43 million annual rate from 4.53 million in September, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. Economists projected sales would decline to a 4.48 million pace, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. The median price fell 0.9 percent from a year earlier.
An overhang of distressed properties and an unemployment rate hovering near 10 percent may restrain home sales, while concerns over faulty foreclosure proceedings threaten to further delay the mending process. At the same time, mortgage rates near record lows may help limit the damage.
“There are still going to be quite a bit of homes up for sales that have come from foreclosures,” said Ryan Wang, an economist at HSBC Securities USA Inc. in New York. “There is little improvement.”
Estimates of the 71 economists surveyed by Bloomberg ranged from 3.85 million to 4.7 million. In July, sales ran at a 3.84 million annual rate, the weakest in a decade’s worth of record- keeping by the Realtors group.
Sales of previously owned homes fell more than expected in October, possibly due to delayed foreclosures and overly strict lending standards, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday.
Sales have fallen 25.9 percent over the past year, while median prices have fallen 0.9 percent in the past year to $170,500.