U.S. home resales fell in October to their lowest since June due to an inventory shortage and high property prices that have dampened buying power. The National Association of Realtors said that sales of previously owned homes fell 3.2 percent last month to an annual rate of 5.12 million units. The pace of annual sales growth decelerated to 6 percent in October, as tight credit conditions and high borrowing costs are impacting the housing market recovery. Purchases fell in the month in all four regions, with the most dramatic drop seen in the West, where they declined 7.1 percent.
Toyota’s first production fuel cell vehicle is edging closer, with the Japanese automaker presenting a thinly veiled concept version of the upcoming zero emission car at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show earlier today. The concept is the FCV, a production version of which is scheduled for launch in 2015 and promised to have a driving range and refueling time comparable to that of a conventional gasoline-powered car. The new technology has come at a cost, however. Instead of the previous $50,000 estimate, the production FCV is now expected to cost almost double that figure. Once launched, the car will be sold initially in four key urban centers in Japan (Tokyo, Chukyo, Kansai and Fukuoka). Later, it will be offered in parts of the U.S. and Europe.
The holiday shopping season hasn’t even officially begun, yet pessimism is already prevailing: Some experts have predicted this year’s sales increase will be the worst since 2009, the year the recession officially ended. Major retailers such as Walmart and Best Buy are warning investors the current quarter will be soft. Deep, early discounts could also negatively affect retailers' bottom line. The National Retail Federation expects 33 million people will shop online and in stores on Black Friday. Holiday sales will rise 3.9% compared to 3.5% last year, the NRF calculates. This is a higher estimate than other forecasts including ShopperTrak, which projected just a 2.4% rise.
Gamers who were dragging their feet and decided against preordering an Xbox One were given one more chance on Wednesday. Within minutes, the Xbox One Day One Edition was sold out, leaving all of those who wanted the console to try their luck waiting in line on Friday when the hardware launches. Since then, some extra units have been offered, but they've been few and far between. Sony's PlayStation4, which launched on November 15, tallied 1 million unit sales in its first 24 hours on store shelves.