Existing home sales climb, but sales drop-off expected: NAR

December 22, 2009 12:01PM

Existing U.S. home sales continued to climb through November, up to the highest point seen in three years, as buyers dashed to meet the original Nov. 30 first-time homebuyer tax credit, before Congress decided to approve its extension, according to the National Association of Realtors. November existing home sales climbed 7.4 percent month-over-month, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.54 million units, up from October’s rate of 6.09 million. The November figure represents a 44.1 percent uptick in activity from the same month a year earlier, when the seasonally adjusted annual rate hit just 4.54 million. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, attributed the surge in sales largely to the tax credit and said that sales data will likely show a decline in the coming months. “We expect a temporary sales drop while buying activity ramps up for another surge in the spring when buyers take advantage of the expanded tax credit,” Yun said. “[This increase] hopefully will take us into a self-sustaining market in the second half of 2010.” TRD