Existing Home Sales Rise Less than Expected in February


U.S. home resales rebounded less than expected in February as a persistent shortage of properties on the market pushed up prices, suggesting a challenging spring selling season.

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The National Association of Realtors said on Monday that existing home sales rose 1.2 percent to an annual rate of 4.88 million units. January's sales pace was unrevised at 4.82 million units.

Apart from tight supply, sales were also constrained by harsh winter weather. Sales in the Northeast, which was slammed by disruptive weather for much of the winter, tumbled 6.5 percent last month. Sales in the Midwest were unchanged.

Sales rose 1.9 percent in the South and jumped 5.7 percent in the West. Economists had forecast home resales, which are measured at the closing of contracts, rising to a 4.90 million-unit pace last month. (Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Paul Simao)