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Not So Rosey: US home sales fall 3.4 percent in October; First time buyers priced out of market

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans bought homes in October, a sign that rising home values may be pushing more would-be buyers to the real estate market's sidelines.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that sales of existing homes fell 3.4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.36 million.

The decline comes after strong growth in home-buying for much of 2015, bolstered by steady job gains and low mortgage rates. Home purchases have advanced 3.9 percent from a year ago, even as buyers have fewer choices because the number of listings on the market has dropped 4.5 percent.

But last month suggested the start of a reflexive backlash after the strong gains in home-buying. The additional sales have spawned sharp price increases that have outpaced wage growth and left some would-be buyers out of the market.

The October sales decrease indicates "the market is treading water," said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. ... more...

" No country upon earth ever had it more in its power to attain these blessings than United America. Wondrously strange, then, and much to be regretted indeed would it be, were we to neglect the means and to depart from the road which Providence has pointed us to so plainly; I cannot believe it will ever come to pass. "
--George Washington, letter to Benjamin Lincoln, 1788
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