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US house sales data worse than expected


US house sales data worse than expected


The markets may be hitting new highs but records of another kind are burrowing their way into the US housing market like termites.

Pre-sales agreements have fallen again in August by six and a half percent, and are now at their lowest level in six years.

Analysts had been expecting a further slowdown of only two percent.

In the last 12 months, the number of house sale contracts signed has collapsed by nearly a quarter. The credit crunch is making banks wary of loaning money, and rates have risen making mortgages less atttractive.

Volume in the market is now so slow a backlog of unsold properties is building up, so builders are starting fewer projects. Analysts say sellers will have to trim their prices if they want to sell, and for those forced to sell because they cannot keep up with repayments, this could spell disaster.

The figures are so bad some now say the crisis could continue well into next year.

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