US house sales plunge to 9-year low

| March 21, 2011
US house sales plunge to 9-year low

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has today revealed sales of previously owned homes in the US plunged to a low not seen since April 2002.

The industry body said sales dived 5.2% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million units – suggesting the housing market is still depressed.

Economists had expected a fall of 4% to a rate of 5.15 million.

On an annual basis, sales were 2.8% lower from February 2010’s rate of 5.02 million units.

The decline follows three months of steady gains.

Sales reached a high of 7 million units annually in September 2005 as the housing bubble reached its peak.

US house prices have fallen recently due to millions of home repossessions. Further falls are likely this year as high unemployment impacts negatively on the housing market.

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