DEC 19, 2013 11:52am ET

Existing Home Sales Constrained by Tight Inventory

DEC 19, 2013 11:52am ET
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Sales of previously owned homes in November fell for the third consecutive month as the seasonal slowdown started earlier this year.

The National Association of Realtors reported Thursday that existing home sales fell 4% in November following a 2% decline in October.

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun claims there is a lot of pent-up demand for housing. However, a limited supply of homes for sale and “tight credit” is hurting home sales.

Existing single-family home sales fell to a 4.9 million seasonally adjusted annual rate in November from a 5.1 million rate in August.  Overall, existing home sales are down 1.2% from November 2012.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, existing home sales fell 12.5% in November from the prior month.

The monthly Re/Max National Housing Report noted that the limited number of homes is impacting sales. “This November, we’ve seen more than seasonality at play,” according to Re/Max chief executive Margaret Kelly.

Re/Max tracks sales in 52 metropolitan areas and only nine areas reported that November sales were higher than in November 2012.

The limited supply of existing homes is expected to push more buyers into the new home market.

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