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The National Association of Realtors released existing homes sales figures in the U.S. on Monday. Sales of existing homes declined 4.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.31 million in August from 5.58 million in July. July's figure was revised down from 5.59 million units.
Analysts had expected an increase to 5.53 million units.
"Sales activity was down in many parts of the country last month - especially in the South and West - as the persistent summer theme of tight inventory levels likely deterred some buyers. The good news for the housing market is that price appreciation the last two months has started to moderate from the unhealthier rate of growth seen earlier this year," the NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said.
Sales to first-time buyers rose to 32% in August from 28% in July.
Yun noted that "the impact on mortgage rates and overall housing demand will likely not be pronounced" when the Fed will start raising its interest rates.
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