Economic Report: Existing-home sales slump to a near 3-year low as buyers back out

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Prospective buyers look at a home for sale during an open house. According to the National Association of Realtors, sales slumped in September.

The numbers: Existing-home sales ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.15 million in September, the National Association of Realtors said Friday. That was a 3.4% decline for the month, and the lowest pace of sales since November 2015.

What happened: Sales of previously-owned homes stabilized in August after declining for four straight months, so September’s lurch lower was surprising to some. Sales were 4.1% lower than year-ago levels. September’s selling pace missed the MarketWatch consensus forecast of a 5.27 million rate.

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