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U.S. Home Sales See Second Straight Monthly Decline In April.

U.S. existing home sales unexpectedly fell last month as demand took a hit from higher mortgage rates and high home prices.

A report from the National Association of Realtors showed inventory reaching a 2-1/2-year high last month, but entry-level homes remained scarce, leading to the second straight monthly sales decline.

“Elevated mortgage rates and rising prices are forcing potential home buyers to wait for buying conditions to improve,” said Ben Ayers, senior economist at Nationwide, according to a report by Reuters.

Home sales fell 1.9% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 4.14 million. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast home re-sales would rise to a rate of 4.21 million. Sales fell in all four regions of the U.S.

Recent government data showed single-family housing starts and building permits declined last month, with homebuilder confidence eroding considerably this month.

Home re-sales, which comprise a large chunk of U.S. housing sales, fell 1.9% on a year-on-year basis in April.

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