Existing single-family home sales rose 1.9% in May, marking the third consecutive monthly rise, even though the purchase of foreclosed properties and first-time sales declined.

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing single-family homes rose to 4.25 million units (annualized) in May compared to 4.17 million in April. Compared to the same month a year ago sales fell 3%. NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun noted foreclosures and short sales accounted for roughly 33% of sales in May, down from 45% earlier in the year.

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