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NAR: Existing-home sales fall after December gains

Posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 8:17:09 AM

December's existing-home sale figures gave hope that the start of 2015 could continue that positive momentum. However, following the recent report from the National Association of Realtors, it seems that the numbers weren't as positive as previously hoped.

According to NAR, total existing-home sales in January dropped 4.9 percent on a monthly basis. Overall, January's seasonally adjusted annual rate reached 4.82 million units, the lowest since April 2014's 4.75 million.

However, there remain reasons to be optimistic, including the improvements seen with national home prices and historically low residential financing rates.

"Although sales cooled in January, home prices continued solid year-over-year growth," explained Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "The labor market and economy are markedly improved compared to a year ago, which supports stronger buyer demand. The big test for housing will be the impact on affordability once rates rise."

In addition, the National Association of Home Builders remains hopeful that housing will be a key topic as the National Governors Association meets at the end of February. The NAHB believes that real estate construction can lead to nearly 3,000 new jobs, roughly $162 million in wages and $118 million in business income per every 1,000 new homes, as well as other positives.