Sales of existing homes fell for a second straight month in October even though mortgage rates declined slightly during the month, a real estate trade group reported Friday.
The National Association of Realtors said existing single-family homes were sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.63 million units last month.The 1.1 percent October decline followed a similar 1.1 percent September drop. Sales had been up 2.2 percent in August after falling 4.5 percent in July.
The pattern of declines in three of the past four months indicated that sales have cooled, analysts said.
The summer rush is over, and despite the window of opportunity afforded by low mortgage interest rates in October, the surge of home sales we saw earlier this year has run its course," said John Tuccillo, the Realtors' chief economist.
The decline in sales was accompanied by a small drop in prices.
The median cost of an existing home sold in October was $88,100, down $100
from the September level.
The weakness in October reflected a 2.9 percent drop in sales in the West, which fell to an annual rate of 700,000 units.