Gold prices are close to a 5-month high following the increase in US residential sales


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

Sales of existing homes increased 1.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.32 million units, compared to the October annualized rate of 5.22 million households, the association said on Monday. Economists had expected to see a sales rate of around 5.20 million.

This is the first time that existing home sales have surpassed expectations since April. Sales of pre-existing homes were down for one year. Despite optimistic data, home sales are still down 7% from November 2017.

Prior to the report, gold prices were trading at a 5-month high, benefiting from a smoother tone on the US dollar. The latest economic data had little impact on gold prices. February gold futures traded at $ 1,261.1 an ounce, up 0.60% on the day.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR, told a news conference that the latest data shows some stability in the housing market. The sector suffered most of the year as residential property prices and rising mortgage rates, driven by rising interest rates, have taken the price of many new home buyers out of the market.

However, Yun noted that the expected stock of growth stocks should help to control rising prices.

The association said that the average price of all types of housing was $ 257,700 last month, an increase of 4.2% compared to November 2017. At the same time, the stock of real estate for sale fell to 1, 74 million, representing an offer of 3.9 months in the current sales rate.

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