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Housing in U.S. Cools as Rate Rise Hits Sales: Mortgages

After a roller-coaster decade of boom-bust-boom, the U.S. housing market is going downhill just when many economists thought annual sales would be heading up.

Sales of previously owned properties in March tumbled 7.5 percent from a year earlier to the slowest pace in 20 months, while purchases of new houses sank 14.5 percent from February, according to reports this week. Mortgage applications to buy homes plunged 19 percent from a year earlier, indicating slowing demand during what is typically the busiest season for deals.