With fewer existing-home sales recorded in the U.S. last year versus the year before, the seasonally adjusted pace of existing-home sales dropped 4.9 percent in January to 4.82 million, its lowest pace in nine months but 3.2 percent higher than at the same time last year.

At the same, the inventory of unsold homes on the market increased 0.5 percent to 1.87 million but remains 0.5 percent lower than at the same time last year.

Existing-home sales in the West dropped 7.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.04 million in January, which is 1.0 percent higher versus a year ago.

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