US home sales dipped in Feb. to 19-month low because of cold weather, high prices

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WASHINGTON – Sales of U.S. existing homes slipped in February, the sixth decline in seven months as severe winter weather, rising prices and a tight supply of homes discouraged buyers.

The National Association of Realtors says sales declined 0.4 per cent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.6 million. That was the lowest pace since July 2012.

Freezing temperatures and snowstorms likely kept many buyers from visiting open houses. And higher mortgage rates have weighed on sales since last fall.

Still, there were some signs that the market could pick up in the coming months. Sales improved in the South and West, where weather was less of a factor. And more people decided to sell, boosting the supply of available homes.

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