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US existing home sales rise marginally in February

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US home resales rebounded less than expected in February as a persistent shortage of properties on the market pushed up prices, suggesting a challenging spring selling season.

[WASHINGTON] US home resales rebounded less than expected in February as a persistent shortage of properties on the market pushed up prices, suggesting a challenging spring selling season.

The National Association of Realtors said on Monday that existing home sales rose 1.2 per cent to an annual rate of 4.88 million units. January's sales pace was unrevised at 4.82 million units.

Apart from tight supply, sales were also constrained by harsh winter weather. Sales in the Northeast, which was slammed by disruptive weather for much of the winter, tumbled 6.5 per cent last month. Sales in the Midwest were unchanged.

Sales rose 1.9 per cent in the South and jumped 5.7 per cent in the West. Economists had forecast home resales, which are measured at the closing of contracts, rising to a 4.90 million-unit pace last month.

REUTERS