Home sales declined for the second consecutive month in October, while prices continue to rise given a limited supply of homes for sale, the National Association of Realtors says.
Total existing home sales fell 3.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.12 million in October from 5.29 million in September. They are 6% higher than the 4.83 million-unit level in October 2012.
Economists’ median forecast was for an annual rate of 5.25 million for last month, according to an Action Economics’ survey.
A flattening trend is expected, says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.
“The erosion in buying power is dampening home sales,” he said. “Moreover, low inventory is holding back sales while at the same time pushing up home prices in most of the country.”
Recent housing data shows that the market “has come off the boil,” says Paul Diggle, economist with Capital Economics.
Home builder confidence moderated in October and there have been signs that price gains are slowing.