U.S. Existing Home Sales Fall in Dec.


U.S. home resales declined more than expected in December as the supply of houses on the market dropped to levels last seen in 1999, which could have limited choice for buyers.

Figures released Tuesday by the National Association of Realtors revealed existing home sales dropped 2.8% to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.49 million units. November's sales pace was revised up to 5.65 million units, which was the highest since February 2007, from the previously reported 5.61 million units.

Economists had projected sales falling 1.1 percent to a 5.52 million-unit pace in December. Sales increased to 5.45 million units in 2016, the highest since 2006, from 5.25 million in 2015.

Last month, the number of unsold homes on the market fell 6.3% from a year earlier to 1.65 million units, the lowest level since 1999, when the NAR started tracking the series.