Existing home sales fell 4.3% for November to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.9 million, according to Thursday's report from the National Association of Realtors, although median prices show strong growth year-over-year.
That's down from 5.12 million in October, and 1.2% below the 4.96 million-unit pace in November 2012.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the market is being squeezed.
"Home sales are hurt by higher mortgage interest rates, constrained inventory and continuing tight credit," he noted. "There is a pent-up demand for both rental and owner-occupied housing as household formation will inevitably burst out, but the bottleneck is in limited housing supply, due to the slow recovery in new home construction. As such, rents are rising at the fastest pace in five years, while annual home prices are rising at the highest rate in eight years."
HousingWire will have detailed analysis of this, as well as today's coming report on jobless claims for the week and where mortgage rates stand, and how it all ties into the Fed's announcement Wednesday that it will begin tapering its purchase of mortgage-backed securities and Treasurys in 2014.