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Sales of US existing homes fell in March to lowest level in 20 months in face of rising prices

WASHINGTON - Sales of existing U.S. homes slipped in March to their lowest level since July 2012 as rising prices and a tight supply of available homes discouraged many would-be buyers.

The National Association of Realtors says sales edged down 0.2 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.59 million. It was the seventh drop in the past eight months.

Sales rose in the Northeast and Midwest, suggesting that cold winter weather did not slow sales. And the Realtors' group says the scant decline shows that sales are stabilizing and may strengthen in the coming months as the spring buying season picks up. Many Realtors report seeing more potential buyers at open houses.

Fewer homes for sale, higher mortgage rates and rising prices have contributed to lower sales since last summer.



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