National Association of Realtors Index Shows Home Sales Fell in Nov.

Chicago–After two months of increases, the National Association of Realtors’ existing-home sales index dropped in November, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.The Chicago-based NAR’s index for pending sales of previously owned homes fell in November at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.6 percent to 87.6. In October, the index was 89.9, which was an increase from September.Previously owned home sales are expected to recover later in 2008 as customers see the market is calming, NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said.”The exact timing and the strength of a home sales recovery is a bit uncertain,” Yun said. “A meaningful recovery in existing-home sales could occur as early as this spring, or it may be further delayed toward late 2008.”The NAR also predicted existing home sales in 2008 would be 5.70 million and 2007 home prices would show a 1.9 percent drop to a median of $217,600 and remain at that level in 2008.Because the NAR pending home sales index is based on expected existing home sales, it is considered a forward-looking measurement of the housing market.