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U.S. Existing-Home Sales Drop for First Time Since February

  • Inventory of properties decline year-to-year for 14th month
  • Purchases of homes less than $250,000 fell from July 2015
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Existing-Home Sales Drop for First Time Since Feb.

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Sales of previously owned homes dropped more than forecast in July from a nine-year high, restrained by limited choices for buyers, National Association of Realtors data showed Wednesday.

July marked the first decline since February for the repeat sales market as inventories on a year-over-year basis fell for a 14th straight month. The pace is nonetheless consistent with forecasts for another solid year for sales of previously owned properties, at the same time new-home purchase data on Tuesday indicated economic growth will be further aided by more residential investment. Demand has been fueled by borrowing costs near record lows and a labor market approaching full employment. Faster wage growth along with more listings and construction of entry-level properties have the potential of boosting the housing market even more.