Existing home sales decreased 2.0% in March to a seasonally adjusted 4.93 million-unit rate, the National Association of Realtors announced yesterday.

The sales decrease to 4.93 million compared to the 4.950 million unit pace predicted by IFR Markets’ poll of economists and followed an unrevised 2.9% rise to a 5.03 million-unit level in February.

On a year-over-year basis, however, sales overall were down 19.3% from a 6.11 million unit sales pace.

“Though mortgage rates are at historically low levels, some borrowers are facing restrictive lending practices in declining markets,” said NAR senior economist Lawrence Yun. “At the same time, many buyers continue to bide their time with a large number of homes to choose from, while other potential buyers remain on the sidelines.”

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