Nation's overall sales decrease

From Times wire services

The market for existing U.S. homes cooled in October, as sales fell a larger-than-expected 4.9% to a 6.35 million seasonally adjusted annual rate from September's revised 6.68 million annual rate, the National Assn. of Realtors said Tuesday.

October sales were the third strongest on record. Sales were down in all four regions of the country, the trade group said. Purchases fell 2.7% in the Northeast, 9.2% in the West, 4.9% in the Midwest and 2.7% in the South.

New-home sales declined by 3.5% in October from September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.1 million units, the Commerce Department said. Even with the drop, October was the fifth-best month on record and marked a 10% increase from the same month a year ago.

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