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Sales of Previously Owned Homes Slump 9.6%

Existing-home sales fell in February following three straight monthly increases, according to data released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Monday. Sales of previously owned homes dropped 9.6 percent last month to an annual rate of 4.88 million. The latest figures came in much lower than analysts were expecting. NAR attributed the February results to the twin headwinds of tight credit and appraisal problems that resulted in contract cancellations. Distressed homes accounted for nearly 40 percent of the pre-owned sales volume in February.

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