SALES UP: The number of Americans who bought previously occupied homes rose a modest 1.4 percent in October. Sales reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.97 million, according to the National Association of Realtors. That's slightly ahead of last year's sales, which were the worst in 13 years.
MORE CANCELLATIONS: Many deals are falling apart at the last minute. One third of Realtors say they had at least one contract scuttled last month, up from 18 percent in September.
MANY REASONS: Banks have declined mortgage applications, home inspectors have found problems, appraisals have shown big disparities in home values and buyers have lost their jobs.