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U.S. existing-home sales rise 1.2% in February

Staff writer |
Existing-home sales crept up 1.2% last month despite harsh winter storms, but they remain weaker than last year's average, the National Association of Realtors said.

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Severe winter weather in February, which also hampered home building, appears to have held back some buyers.
Sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million, a bit better than January's 4.82 million. Last year's monthly rate averaged 4.92 million, which was down from 2013's 5.07 million.

The consensus forecast was 4.92 million ahead of Monday's report, according to Action Economics' survey of economists.

Severe winter weather in February, which also hampered home building, appears to have held back some buyers, too. Sales in the Northeast fell 6.5% from January while sales in the Midwest were unchanged.

The National Association of Realtors' existing home sales report counts completed sales of single-family homes, townhouses, co-ops and condominiums.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in February was $202,600, which is 7.5% above February 2014, NAR said.

The supply of homes for sale last month held steady at 4.6 months, the same as in January. A six-month supply is considered a balanced market between buyers and sellers. Total housing inventory increased 1.6%, but is half a point below a year ago.


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