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Gold Prices Holding Near 5-Month High After Rise In U.S. Existing Home Sales

Kitco News

(Kitco News) - Gold prices are holding on to gains after data showed U.S. consumers bought pre-existing homes at a faster pace than expected last month according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Existing home sales increased 1.9% last month to a seasonally adjusted and annualized rate of 5.32 million units, compared to October’s annualized rate of 5.22 million homes, the association said on Monday. Economists were expecting to see a sales rate of around 5.20 million.

This is the first time existing home sales have solidly beat expectations since April. Sales of pre-existing home been in a downtrend for a year. Despite the optimistic data, home sales are still down 7% compared to November 2017 sales.

Ahead of the report gold prices were trading at a 5-month high, benefiting from a softer tone in the U.S. dollar. The latest economic data has had little impact on gold prices. February gold futures last traded at $1,261.1 an ounce, up 0.60% on the day.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said in a press conference that the latest data shows some stability in the housing market. The sector has suffered through most of the year as pricing home prices and rising mortgage rates, due to rising interest rates, priced many new home buyers out of the market.

However,Yun noted expected growth housing inventory should help tame rising prices.

The association said that the median price for all housing types was $257,700 last month, up 4.2% from November 2017. At the same time, inventory of home for sale dropped to 1.74 million, representing a 3.9-month supply at the current sales rate.

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