U.S. Existing-Home Sales Jumped 11.8 Percent in February

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U.S. home sales soared 11.8 percent in February, aided by accelerating wages and falling mortgage rates that are improving affordability.

The National Association of Realtors says that existing homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.51 million last month, a decisively sharp rebound from a pace of 4.94 million in January.

The real estate market is still recovering from a spike in rates for home loans last year, which caused sales to slow as the size of monthly mortgage payments jumped. As a result, existing home sales are down 1.8 percent from a year ago.

But rates have since tumbled after peaking in early November, helping sales to recover.

The median sales price in January was $247,500, a slight increase of 2.8 percent from last year.

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