Sales of existing houses plunged by a record 27 percent in July as the effects of a government tax credit waned, showing a lack of jobs threatens to undermine the U.S. economic recovery.
Purchases plummeted to a 3.83 million annual pace, the lowest in a decade of record keeping and worse than the most pessimistic forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed today in Washington. Demand for single-family houses dropped to a 15- year low and the number of homes on the market swelled.
Stocks tumbled and Treasury securities rallied, sending yields on 10-year notes to the lowest in 17 months, on concern the industry at the heart of the financial crisis will lead the nation back into a recession. Recent reports on jobless claims and manufacturing point to a slowdown in growth that may prompt the Federal Reserve to consider additional moves to boost the economy.