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US sales of previously occupied homes edged up in January to second-highest level in 3 years

U.S. sales of previously occupied homes rose in January to the second-highest level in three years, a sign the housing market is maintaining its recovery and helping to bolster the economy.

The National Association of Realtors says sales rose 0.4 percent in January compared with December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.92 million. That was the second-highest sales pace since November 2009, when a temporary home buyer tax credit had temporarily boosted sales. The median price for a home sold in January was $173,600, an increase of 12.3 percent from a year ago.

Analysts say purchases would be higher if more homes were available. The supply of homes for sale dropped to nearly an eight-year low in January.

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