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...