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November Sales Report: Buyers Sit Tight. Prices Drop

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The big news of the morning is the release of the National Association of Realtors' November national sales report, and, as expected, home sales were weak given all the terrible economic news of the fall: Existing-home sales (which includes homes, condos, townhomes) dropped 8.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.49 million units in November, while the national median home price fell to $181,300 in November, down 13.2 percent from November 2007, the lowest median price since November 2004, according to the New York Times. Additionally, the report indicates that total housing inventory grew 1 percent to 4.2 million, a stock that would take 11.2 months to "burn off," according to the Times. And how about this figure via the Times: "In parts of Southern California, more than half of all houses sold in November had gone through foreclosure at some point in the last 12 months, according to MDA DataQuick, a real-estate research firm. Meanwhile, in the NAR report, Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist calls for the government to provide incentives for homeowners, noting that "impediments remain for some buyers with good credit."
· Existing-Home Sales Decline in Economic Uncertainty [NAR]
· Home Sales in November Fell at Faster Pace Than Expected [NY Times]