Existing U.S. home sales, prices falling

The National Association of Realtors recently reported that existing home sales were 5.040 million in September, down from 5.480 million in August and 6.230 million a year ago.

The median price fell to $211,700 in September, down from $224,400 in August and $229,220 in June.

"Clearly, the absence of financing for home buyers with less than stellar credit records and the shortage of jumbo financing for prime loans above $417,000 is griping the housing market and driving prices down," said Peter Morici, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Business and former Chief Economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission. "This is best illustrated by the fact that home prices are falling more rapidly on the pricey West Coast than in the economically troubled industrial Middle West. Until the Federal government takes affirmative steps to rebuild the mortgage and bond markets with meaningful reforms, home prices will continue weak, and the economy will remain at risk."

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