Home Sales

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The housing market cool-down continues.

Sales of previously-owned homes fell five-point-seven last month, according to a real estate trade group. It is the third straight monthly decline, something that hasn't happened in more than three years.

The National Association of Realtors says sales declined to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of six-point-six (m) million units.

Nevertheless, sales of existing homes set a record for a fifth straight year in 2005.

December sales were three percent below the level seen a year earlier.

NAR chief economist David Lereah (lur-AY') says the housing market will cool this year, marking what he calls a "soft landing." Some analysts fear it could be more dramatic than that, noting the market had soared beyond expectations, in terms of sales and home prices, in recent years.

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