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RE/MAX: November homes sales down 26% from year ago

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Home sales in November fell nearly 5% from the prior month and are about 26% lower than a year earlier, according to the most recent RE/MAX national housing report. The real estate giant said the market "is struggling to find secure footing" as the homebuyer tax credit has expired and some lenders work out the impact of the foreclosure moratorium. RE/MAX said home prices in November fell 1.7% from the year ago and home inventory "continues a trend of single-digit declines." "While home sales usually decline in winter months, we are seeing a large than normal correction this winter due to several artificial factors like the expired tax credit," according to Margaret Kelly, chief executive of RE/MAX. "Despite predictions about falling home prices, they appear to be remaining stable with several markets reporting significant price increases over the last year. The monthly RE/MAX survey covers 54 metropolitan areas, and none of the areas reported an increase in November sales from the year earlier. The top five markets that experienced a sales gain last month from the prior month include Jackson, Miss., and Billings, Mont., with a 9.2% increase; Las Vegas at 4.7%; Birmingham, Ala. at 3.8%; and Miami at 3.6%. Write to Jason Philyaw.

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