Existing Home Sales Decline In January

Existing home sales declined 5.2% in January from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.04 million units, according to data released Feb. 25 by the National Association of Realtors, Washington, D.C. Last month's rate was 2% higher than the January 2003 pace. "We have to keep in mind that the level of home-sales activity over the last six months has been the strongest on record," says David Lereah, NAR's chief economist. "The January pace was the sixth-highest ever and is above the total forecast for this year." Lereah said it was hard to read much into the monthly decline other than to note that bad weather may have postponed some sales.

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