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November Existing Home Sales Down 4.3%

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Sales of existing homes were down 4.3 percent last month to an annual rate of 4.9 million, according to the National Association of Realtors.

It was the third straight monthly decline, and the weakest pace reported since December 2012.

“It's either the low point or very close to the low point in the cycle,” NAR spokesman Walter Molony told ABC News Radio on Thursday. “We think it'll come back up but not much.”

What contributed to the slump?

“Home sales are hurt by higher mortgage interest rates, constrained inventory and continuing tight credit,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement. “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.”

The average price of an existing home last month was $196,300, up 9.4 percent from November 2012.

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