The National Association of Realtors reported on Tuesday that existing-home sales dropped off in November to an annual rate of about 4 point 76 million, the slowest pace in 19 months. November’s decline represented a 10 point 5 percent drop from October’s downwardly revised total of 5 point 32 million, and the sales pace for November was the lowest since it was reported at 4 point 75 million in April 2014. November’s pace is now 3 point 8 percent lower than November 2014.
One of the major drivers of November’s dropoff in the pace of existing-home sales is likely the implementation of the “Know Before You Owe” mortgage rule, commonly known as the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule, which went into effect on October 3. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said the longer closing times caused by TRID may be delaying transactions until the following month, making the slowdown in existing-home sales for November temporary.
November’s total of 66 thousand 600 foreclosure starts was the lowest total for one month since April 2006, about two and a half years before the beginning of the housing crisis, according to Black Knight’s First Look at Mortgage Data for November 2015. The total represents a 9 percent decline from October and nearly a 10 percent decline from November 2014. Foreclosure inventory was also way down in November, falling by about 185 thousand properties year-over-year down to about 698 thousand—or approximately 1 point 38 percent of all residential mortgages in the U.S.