Single-family existing home sales fell 8% in November from October as deteriorating economic conditions produced a drop in homebuying for the second month in a row, as well as a further slide in house prices.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said sales of previously owned homes fell from a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.37 million in October to 4.02 million in November.
"The quickly deteriorating conditions in the job market, stock market and consumer confidence in October and November have knocked down home sales to another level," NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said. Sales are down 8.8% from a year ago. But prices of single-family homes have declined by 12.8% from November 2007.
Unless Congress takes steps to stimulate home sales and stabilize prices, "falling home prices will lead to faster contraction in consumer spending and further deterioration in bank balances sheets," Yun said.