Sales of previously owned U.S. homes rose unexpectedly in January, but prices fell to their lowest level in nearly nine years, an industry group said on Wednesday.
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The National Association of Realtors said sales climbed 2.7% month over month to an annual rate of 5.36 million units from a downwardly revised 5.22 million pace.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected January sales to fall 2.1% to a 5.24 million-unit pace from the previously reported 5.28 million units in December.
Compared with January last year, sales were up 5.3 percent. The median home price fell 3.7% from a year-ago to $158,800, the lowest since April 2002.