US home sales tumbled 1.7% in November

Business

This Oct. 17, 2019, photo shows a home for sale sign in Orange County near Hillsborough, N.C. On Thursday, Dec. 19, the National Association of Realtors reports on sales of existing homes in November.(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Home-buying slumped in November, with many Americans priced out of the market by rising prices and a shortage of sales listings.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that sales of existing homes fell 1.7% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million. Would-be buyers face supply constraints: The number of properties for sale has dwindled 5.7% from a year ago to 1.64 million units.

Affordability has also been a persistent challenge. The median home sales price has climbed 5.4% from a year ago to $257,400, outpacing wage growth.

Still, lower mortgage rates have provided a base of demand. Over the past 12 months, the decline in the typical mortgage rate from 4.9% to 3.8% this November helped to annual boost sales 2.7%.

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