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Existing home sales in February down more than forecast

Washington

SALES of previously owned US homes dropped more than forecast in February after reaching the second-highest level since 2007 as low inventory levels continue to limit progress in housing.

Closings on existing homes, which usually take place a month or two after a contract is signed, decreased 7.1 per cent to a three-month low 5.08 million annual rate after a 5.47 million pace in January, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said on Monday.

Sales were weaker than the most pessimistic forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists.

Faster growth in residential real estate is being hampered by a limited selection of available properties that has led to higher offering prices. While mortgage...

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