(Kitco News) – Gold prices are holding on to modest gains, following the news that U.S. consumers bought slightly more pre-existing homes in October, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Wednesday, existing home sales increased 1.4% last month to a seasonally adjusted and annualized rate of 5.22 million units, compared to September’s annualized rate of 5.15 million homes, the association said on Monday. According to consensus forecasts, economists were expecting to see a rate of 5.20 million homes.
The gold market has recently benefiting from shifting sentiment in the marketplace as investors have become more pessimistic on equity markets due to growing global growth concerns. The yellow metal is seeing little reaction to the modest beat in home sales. December gold futures last traded at $1.226.80 an ounce, up 0.46% on the day.
The data will come as a slight relief for some market players who have highlighted growing weakness in the housing market. According to some economists higher prices, rising mortgage rates — due to rising interest rates, are pricing many new home buyers out of the marketplace.
Despite the better-than-expected data, home sales have been in a sharp decline since the start of the year. Home sales are down 5.1% for the year, the largest 12-month drop since July 2014.
“Demand is being choked off by higher interest rates,”said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Maybe the Federal Reserve can take a little pause in their interest rate hikes to give the chance for the housing market to be on firmer ground.”
Looking at home prices, the report said that the median house price last month rose to $255,400, up 3.8% from October 2017.
By Neils Christensen
For Kitco News