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In a critical win for home sales while the partial shutdown of the federal government is ongoing, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will issue and renew flood insurance policies, reversing an unexpected and controversial ruling the agency released earlier this week.
The latest decline in contract signings implies more short-term pull back in the housing sector and does not yet capture the impact of recent favorable conditions of mortgage rates.
FEMA issued a new opinion disallowing new or renewal flood insurance policies during the partial shutdown of the federal government. Insurers can still pay claims on existing policies.
NAR President-Elect Vince Malta spoke on NAR's priorities for a legislative restructuring of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
Total existing-home sales increased 1.9 percent from October. Three of four major U.S. regions saw gains in sales activity. Rising inventory is taming home price appreciation, according to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.