January 25, 2010
NEW YORK — Existing home sales fell in December, the month after a federal tax credit was slated to expire, according to a real estate industry report issued Monday.
[efoods]The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales plunged 16.7% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.45 million units, down from the revised rate of 6.54 million in November. Still, sales year-over-year were up 15%.
Analysts surveyed by Briefing.com had expected the December sales rate to hit 5.9 million annual units.
It was expected that sales would decline from November to December, because November was slated to be the last month in which sales to first-time homebuyers could qualify for a federal tax credit of up to $8,000. Lawmakers have since extended that deadline through April 30, adding a new credit of up to $6,500 for some existing home owners who move.