Sales of U.S. Existing Homes Slump to Lowest Since July 2012

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Sales of previously owned U.S. homes dropped in January to the lowest level in more than a year as harsh winter weather combined with a lack of supply, tight credit and declining affordability slowed demand.

Purchases (ETSLTOTL) decreased 5.1 percent to a 4.62 million annual rate last month, the fewest since July 2012, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 79 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected sales would drop to a 4.67 million rate. Sales fell in all four regions of the country.