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Roughly a month ago, I wrote series about real estate agents’ reactions to reports that existing home sales had gone up between August and September. (Check the first four links, if you’re interested.)

They offered such comments as “The market’s improving!” to “[Home prices] go up again? Oh, no, no, no, no, noooo. I will say within three years. It’s down to reality. It’s real. It’s really real. People think totally differently.”

The existing home sales figures were good news for one main reason: people think that as soon as the low-priced foreclosure properties all get sold off, new homes will start to sell more rapidly. Then prices will rise. Wah-laaaa! Real Estate bust over. Just that simple.

Well apparently, the tide has turned again. Sales for existing homes are down, according to the Washington Business Journal:

Existing-home sales nationwide fell 3.1 percent in October from September, according to the National Association of Realtors.

During October, 4.98 million units sold, down from 5.14 in September. The October number also was a decline from the 5.06 million units that sold in October 2007.

“Many potential home buyers appear to have withdrawn from the market due to the stock market collapse and deteriorating economic conditions,” says NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. The October drop follows a 5.5 percent gain in September from August.

Photo by Sean Dreilinger.