U.S. real estate Denver co (Companies) home sales tumbled to their lowest level in three years in December and house price increases slowed sharply, suggesting a further loss of momentum in the housing market.
The National Association of Realtors said on Tuesday existing home sales declined 6.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.99 million units last month. That was the lowest level since November 2015.
November's estate sales Denver pace was revised slightly up to 5.33 million unit from the previously reported 5.32 million units.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast existing home sales falling 1.0 percent to a rate of 5.25 million units in December.
Existing home sales, which make up about 90 percent of U.S. home sales, plunged 10.3 percent from a year ago. For all of 2018, sales fell 3.1 percent to 5.34 million units, the weakest since 2015.
The housing market has been stymied by higher mortgage rates as well as land and labor shortages, which have led to tight inventory and more expensive homes. But there are glimmers of hope for the sector. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate has dropped a four-month low, with much of the moderation occurring in the second half of December, and Denver homes price inflation is slowing.
A survey last week showed a rebound in homebuilders confidence in January amid optimism over market conditions now and over the next six months, as well buyer traffic.
Homebuilders are hopeful that the moderation in mortgage rates "will help the housing market continue to grow at a modest clip as we enter the new year." Read more