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Freddie Mac

US home sales fell 0.4 percent in May amid inventory crunch

U.S. existing home sales slipped 0.4 percent in May, as the prolonged shortage of properties on the market is deterring home-buying.

The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 5.43 million in May, the second straight monthly decline. Sales have tumbled 3 percent over the past year, despite steady job growth that has boosted demand from would-be homebuyers as the unemployment rate has fallen to a multi-decade low of 3.8 percent.

The housing market is caught in a vice grip of fewer sales listings and rising mortgage rates, both of which have made home ownership less affordable for many Americans.

The...

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