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Existing Home Sales Drop 1.5% in May

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- In yet another sign that the housing market is still struggling, existing home sales dropped last month by 1.5 percent, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors.

Sales were down to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.55 million units in May, compared to 4.62 million in April.

The decline is attributed to "limited supplies of housing inventories, especially at the lower end," says Walter Maloney, a spokesperson for the National Association of Realtors.

But it's not all bad news, as Maloney points out.

"Even with the decline the market has moved notably higher, with 11 months of consecutive gains over the same month a year ago," he says.  Existing home sales last month were 9.6 percent higher than in May 2011.

And, he notes, the outlook for the housing recovery is still positive.

"Given the underlying fundamentals, existing sales this year should rise 9 to 10 percent, the national median price is projected to increase 2 to 3 percent, and we're looking for more improvements in both sales and prices in 2013," Maloney says.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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