U.S. home sales fell 0.4 percent in May

Real Estate

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.

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