Existing-Home Sales Slip In November, Remain Strong

Sales of existing single-family homes slipped in November but continued at a high pace, according to data released by the National Association of Realtors on Dec. 30. Existing-home sales slipped 4.6% from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.06 million units in November. Despite the decline, the rate still was the fifth highest pace on record and 6.9% ahead of the 5.67 million-unit level of November 2002. "The last five months have been the strongest on record for existing-home sales. Although sales in November were off from recent peaks, last month's pace is a very respectable number," says David Lereah, NAR's chief economist. "We will continue to see strong sales going forward, with 2004 likely to be the second-best year on record." The national median existing-home price was $170,900 in November. Housing inventory levels at the end of November were 2.8% higher than in October and reached a total of 2.53 million. Existing-home sales are based on transaction closings.

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