Existing home sale plunge 9.7% in 3rd straight monthly drop

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Model homes and for sale signs line the streets as construction continues at a housing plan in Zelienople, Pa., Wednesday, March 18, 2020. U.S. home sales jumped in February to their highest level in 13 years, a trend that will almost certainly be reversed as the viral outbreak keeps more people at home. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Existing home sales in the U.S. plunged 9.7% in May. It was the third straight monthly decline and further evidence of the harm the virus pandemic has done to the housing market.

The National Association of Realtors said Monday that the monthly decline pushed sales down to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.91 million, the slowest pace since a home buyers tax credit expired in October 2010.

Sales fell in all regions of the country, with the biggest decline coming in the Northeast where virus infections were especially heavy.

Sales of both existing and new homes have fallen sharply during the spring sales season as the housing market was hurt by the shutdowns put into effect to help contain the spread of the virus.

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