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US Existing-Home Sales Highest In More Than Three Years
Sales of previously owned properties grew last month to the highest level in more than three years and more people put their properties up for sale, signs the improving housing market will lift the economy this year. Existing-home sales increased 0.8% in February from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.98 million, the National Association of Realtors said. Sales were 10.2% above the same month a year earlier, the 20th straight month of year-over year gains. After contracting since last July, the number of homes on the market has started to increase as home sales grow and prices recover. The inventory of previously owned homes listed for sale at the end of February increased 9.6% from January to 1.94 million. Homes, meanwhile, are selling faster. It took a median 74 days for homes to be sold in February, compared with 97 days last year, the Realtors group said. Lawrence Yun, the Realtors’ chief economist, predicted that the housing market’s recovery would cause consumers to feel better about their household wealth and feel more comfortable making purchases. Full Article