Reuters

(Reuters)

Existing Home Sales Climb at Fastest Pace Since May '10

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U.S. home resales surged in January to a 1-1/2 year high and the supply of properties on the market was the lowest in almost seven years, pointing to a nascent housing recovery.

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The National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday existing home sales increased 4.3 percent to an annual rate of 4.57 million units last month, the highest since May 2010.

However, the tenor of the report was weakened somewhat by a sharp downward revision to December's sales data to show only a 4.38 million-unit rate rather than the previously reported 4.61 million-unit pace.

That followed an annual revision of the seasonal factors for the series going back three years. Sales in December actually fell 0.5 pct from November, instead of the 5 percent increase reported last month.

There were no revisions to monthly prices and inventory data. Economists polled by Reuters had expected sales to rise to a 4.65 million-unit sales pace.

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