Existing Home Sales Fall, But Prices Climb For 10th Straight Month

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Existing home sales unexpectedly fell 1 percent in December to a 4.94 million annual rate, according to the National Association of Realtors.

November's reading was revised down to a 4.99 million annual rate.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $180,800 in December, up 11.5 percent from a year ago. Existing home prices were up for ten straight months.

For 2012, the preliminary reading of median existing home prices was $176,600, up 6.3 percent from 2011.

A regional breakdown showed that existing home sales in Northeast were up 3.2 percent; in the Midwest they fell 5.9 percent; in the south they were down 3 percent and in the West they were up 5.1 percent.

More to come...

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Existing home sales for December will be out at 10 a.m. ET.

Analysts polled by Bloomberg are looking for a rise in existing home sales to a 5.1 million annual rate. 

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In November, existing home sales were up 14.5 percent year-over-year, and up 5.9 percent on the month. 

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) measure of resales includes previously constructed homes, condominium, and co-ops in which a sale closed during the month. 

Existing home sales account for a larger share of the market than new homes, according to Bloomberg. Existing home sales and new home sales both began to pick up in 2012 but the latter increased at a slower pace. That coupled with the recent uptick in housing starts and homebuilder confidence is raising concerns about a build up in inventory that could impact the housing recovery.

SEE ALSO: 12 States Where Homeowners Are Deep Underwater On Their Mortgages >



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