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...
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.
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.
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