WHAT TO WATCH: EXISTING HOME SALES

Existing Home Sales: For SaleExisting Home Sales declined sharply from October to November, after a modest decline from September to October. Does this affect the long-term housing outlook?

What is the Existing Home Sales report? The Existing Home Sales report measures sales of pre-owned single-family homes, as reported by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) from 650 local associations. It covers geographical numbers, prices, inventory and the number of months it would take to deplete the existing supply of pre-owned houses.

What’s happened recently? NAR reported Existing Home Sales in November fell 10.5 percent from October. This was the sharpest monthly decline since July 2010, when sales deflated due to expiring homebuyer tax credits.

What’s the bottom line? Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, affirmed buying interest is still high but blamed the decline mainly on closing delays caused by new federal “Know Before You Owe” rules implemented by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in October. Other factors presenting challenges to potential buyers were rising home prices and lingering tight inventories across much of the country. While regulatory changes and home prices are expected to moderate in 2016, historically low home loan rates make home buying attractive right now.

I’ll continue to monitor economic reports closely. If you have any immediate questions about loan products or home loan rates, please call or email today.

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