US existing-home sales fell in November for the third consecutive month, indicating that US housing sector recovery was losing steam, a leading industry group reported on Thursday.
Existing home sales, which tally completed transactions for single-family houses, townhouses and condominiums, declined to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.90 million in November. It was 4.3 percent lower than the revised level of October and 1.2 percent lower than the year-ago figure, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said in a report.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the market is being squeezed. "Home sales are hurt by higher mortgage interest rates, constrained inventory and continuing tight credit," he said.
"There is a pent-up demand for both rental and owner-occupied housing as household formation will inevitably burst out, but the bottleneck is in limited housing supply, due to the slow recovery in new home construction. As such, rents are rising at the fastest pace in five years, while annual home prices are rising at the highest rate in eight years," he added.
Meanwhile, the median existing home price for all housing types rose 9.4 percent from a year ago to 196,300 U.S. dollars in November, noted the report.
Existing home sales account for a larger share of the market than new home sales. Housing market has been a bright spot in the U.S. economy recovery despite the recent data fluctuations.