Having ticked up 1.3 percent in August, the seasonally adjusted pace of existing-home sales across the U.S. dropped 2.2 percent in September to an annual rate of 5.38 million sales but remains 3.9 percent above its mark at the same time last year, according to the National Association of Realtors.

At the same time, the inventory of existing homes on the market across the nation ticked down 1.6 percent to 1.83 million homes, which is 2.7 percent lower than at the same time last year.

And out West, the pace of existing-home sales slipped another 0.9 percent in September to an annual rate of 1.14 million sales but remains 5.6 percent above its pace at the same time last year (while the pace of sales in San Francisco is still down and local inventory levels up).

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