Sales of existing homes in the US continue to steadily decline, the American National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed overnight.
According to the association, sales declined by 0.4 per cent in January 2008 to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million.
This is 23.4 per cent less than the 6.44 million registered in January 2007.
The slowing sales reflect the current lending climate, with NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun stating that many potential buyers remain on the sidelines due to tighter lending standards.
“Sub-prime loans and other risky mortgage products have virtually disappeared from the marketplace,” Mr Yun said.
President of the association Richard Gaylord is confident however that buyers’ access to higher lending limits will return and translate into improved home sales by the American summer.
“Once buyers have greater access to higher loan limits, it will take a few months for increased shopping activity to translate into higher sales,” he said.
“But higher loan limits need to be implemented fully and promptly to have maximum benefit.”
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