The seasonally adjusted pace of existing-home sales in the U.S. dropped 6.1 percent in November to an annualized rate of 4.93 million homes, the slowest pace in six months but 2.1 percent higher than at the same time last year.

At the same time, the inventory of unsold homes fell 6.7 percent to 2.09 million homes but remains 2.0 percent higher than at the same time last year.

The share of first-time buyers ticked up from 29 to 31 percent last month, the highest share since October 2012, while the share of all-cash buyers slipped from 27 to 25 percent (versus 32 percent at the same time last year) and the percentage of individual investors held at 15 percent, down from 19 percent in November of 2013.

In the West, existing-home sales dropped by nearly 10 percent in November to an annual rate of just over a million and remains 1 percent lower versus the same time last year.

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