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Distressed Properties Help Boost U.S. Home Sales: Economy

Sales of previously owned U.S. homes rose in January to the highest level since May 2010 as investors took advantage of lower prices to buy distressed properties.

Purchases climbed 4.3 percent to a 4.57 million annual rate, less than forecast, from a revised 4.38 million pace in December that was slower than previously estimated, a report from the National Association of Realtors showed today in Washington. Distressed properties made up the largest portion of all purchases since April.