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U.S. housing sales, a key pillar of economic growth in recent years, are looking weaker again.
Existing home sales declined for much of 2018. In December, according to the National Association of Realtors, sales of single-family homes, condos, and co-ops fell a larger-than-expected 6.4% from the previous month. A Reuters survey of economists projected home sales to decline by a modest 1% in December.
Basis - Decline - December - Homes - Month
On a year-over-year basis, the decline was even starker. In December 2017, 5.56 million homes sold. Last month’s figure was more than 10% lower at 4.99 million homes. That marked the lowest level in three years.
For economists, the decline in home sales last month seemed as hard to explain as it was surprising, with many offering different explanations for the slowdown. Lawrence Yun, the chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, credited higher interest rates late last year. With mortgage rates somewhat lower now, he...
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