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Published: Thursday, 4/21/2011

Existing-home sales rise 3.7% for month


WASHINGTON — Sales of previously occupied homes rose in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.1 million, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday.

That’s a 3.7 percent increase from the February pace, but far below the 6 million annual figure that economists say represents a healthy market.

The association said most of the gain was from investors buying houses at risk of foreclosure. The median selling price of all houses rose in March to $159,600, but it is down 5.9 percent from a year ago.

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