WASHINGTON Dec 21 U.S. home resales
unexpectedly rose in November, reaching their highest level in
nearly 10 years, likely as buyers rushed into the market to lock
in low interest rates in anticipation of further increases in
The National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday
existing home sales increased 0.7 percent to an annual rate of
5.61 million units last month. That was the highest sales pace
since February 2007.
October's sales pace was revised down to 5.57 million units
from the previously reported 5.60 million units.
Economists had forecast sales slipping 1.0 percent to
a 5.50 million-unit pace in November. Sales were up 15.4 percent
from a year ago. They rose in the Northeast and South, but fell
in the Midwest and West last month.
Mortgage rates have surged in the wake of Donald Trump's
victory in the Nov. 8 presidential election. Trump's proposal to
increase infrastructure spending and slash taxes is seen as
Since the election, the fixed 30-year mortgage rate has
increased about 60 basis points to an average 4.16 percent, the
highest level since October 2014, according to data from
mortgage finance firm Freddie Mac.
Mortgage rates could rise further after the Federal Reserve
raised its benchmark overnight interest rate last week by 25
basis points to a range of 0.50 percent to 0.75 percent. The
U.S. central bank forecast three rate hikes next year.
(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Paul Simao)