US home sales tumbled 1.7% in November

Business

FILE – In this June 13, 2019, photo a new home is under construction in Mechanicsville, Va. On Monday, Dec. 23, The Commerce Department reports on sales of new homes in November. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Home-buying slumped in November, with many Americans priced out of the market by rising prices and a shortage of sales listings.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that sales of existing homes fell 1.7% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million. Would-be buyers face supply constraints: The number of properties for sale has dwindled 5.7% from a year ago to 1.64 million units.

Affordability has also been a persistent challenge. The median home sales price has climbed 5.4% from a year ago to $257,400, outpacing wage growth.

Still, lower mortgage rates have provided a base of demand. Over the past 12 months, the decline in the typical mortgage rate from 4.9% to 3.8% this November helped to annual boost sales 2.7%.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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