Having dropped 3.6 percent this past December, the pace of existing-home sales in the U.S. dropped another 3.2 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.38 million transactions, which is 4.8 percent lower on a year-over-year basis and the largest year-over-year decline since the third quarter of 2014.

At the same time, the median price of the homes that traded hands last month dropped 2.6 percent to $240,500 but remains 5.8 percent higher versus the same time last year while the inventory of existing homes on the market rose 4.1 percent to 1.52 million which is still 9.5 percent lower on a year-over-year basis (versus 10.3 percent lower the month before).

And out West, the pace of existing-home sales dropped 5.0 percent in January to an annual rate of 1.14 million sales, which is 9.5 percent lower versus the same time last year, while the median sale price slipped 1.3 percent to $362,600 but is still 8.8 percent above the mark at the same time last year.

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