Existing home sales fell 0.6% in February to a 5.02 million annual rate as inventories continued to rise, the National Association of Realtors reported yesterday.

Sales have declined for three consecutive months following a surge in October and November as buyers rushed to secure the homebuyer tax credit. The market needs a “second surge” of existing home sales in April, May and June to offset rising inventories, said Lawrence Yun, the NAR’s chief economist.

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