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Existing home sales decline 1.9 percent in September

Reuters With CNBC.com
Monday, 21 Oct 2013 | 10:00 AM ET
Existing home sales in Sept. down 1.9%
Monday, 21 Oct 2013 | 10:00 AM ET
CNBC's Diana Olick reports September existing home sales slipped lower than expected, as the annual pace slows.

U.S. home resales fell in September and prices rose at their slowest pace in five months, the latest signs higher mortgage rates were taking some edge off the housing market recovery.

The National Association of Realtors said on Monday home sales fell 1.9 percent to an annual rate of 5.29 million units. August's sales pace was revised down to 5.39 million units from the previously reported 5.48 million units.

Existing home sales: Issue for consumer?
Nick Colas, ConvergEx Group, and Diane Swonk, Mesirow Financial, discuss the impact of falling existing home sales on the overall markets. It's a real problem for first time buyers with overhang of student debt" says Swonk.

(Click here to track the U.S. stock market following the report.)

Economists polled by Reuters had expected home resales to fall 2.9 percent to a 5.30 million-unit rate.

The NAR said a combination of high home prices, barely rising salaries and higher mortgage rates was weighing down on affordability, which hit a five-year low in September.

The Realtors group said home resales had probably peaked in July and August. The drop in homes resales adds to other data that have suggested the high borrowing costs are starting to slow the housing market recovery.

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