Sales of previously owned homes rose for the first time in five months, according to the latest numbers from the National Association of Realtors. The 0.8 percent increase was led by gains in the Midwest and South. Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, says more improvement can be expected, especially with mortgage rates trending downward. “The latest weakness in existing home sales still reflects the buyer bidding process in most of October when mortgage rates were at a two-decade high before the actual closings in November,” Yun said. “A marked turn can be expected as mortgage rates have plunged in recent weeks.” But while rates have declined significantly since October, prices have continued to climb. In fact, the NAR report found prices up 4 percent from the year before, with all four U.S. regions showing increases. Also in the report, the typical property was on the market 25 days in November and 62 percent of homes sold in under a month.
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