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Existing home sales dip

WASHINGTON -- With the impact of higher interest rates finally sinking in on customers, the two biggest and most stable components of the broad U.S. housing market lost ground in October.

Sales of existing homes, which make up almost 70 percent of the housing market, decreased 2.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted level of 7.1 million. And the most forward-looking indicator, housing starts, fell 5.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted level of 2.1 million units.

The only gainer was the highly volatile market for costly new homes, subject to wide swings from month to month, which roared ahead 13 percent, to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.3 million units.

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