A leading indicator of existing-home sales declined in November for the third consecutive month, providing further evidence that the housing market is slowing.The National Association of Realtors reported that its index of pending home sales slipped by 2.5% in November, from 123.7 to 120.6. The seasonally adjusted annual index peaked at 129.2 in August. The index reflects sales contracts signed in November, but the actual closings will not occur until December or January. "We are clearly experiencing a market transition, moving from a prolonged boom to a more balanced period of sustainable sales," NAR chief economist David Lereah said. While 2005 is slated to be the fifth consecutive record year for existing-home sales, the NAR economist is forecasting only a 4% decline in sales in 2006. The NAR can be found online at http://www.realtor.org.

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