Sales of existing homes drop to seven-month low

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WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Sales of existing homes slipped in June to a seven-month low, and a real estate trade group attributed the surprise downturn to a weak economy and a spike in cancellations.

The National Association of Realtors reported sales of single-family existing homes fell 0.8%, the third consecutive monthly drop, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.77 million from 4.81 million in May. Compared with June 2010, the scheduled closing deadline for the home buyer tax credit, sales fell 8.8%.

Economists polled by MarketWatch had anticipated a 4.9 million sales rate. The data caught economists by surprise in part because pending homes sales were up 8.2% in May.

Full story: Sales of existing homes slip 0.8% in June