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Gold Prices Holding Gains As Existing Home Sales Surge Nearly 12% In February

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(Kitco News) - Gold prices are holding on to recent gains, just off its recent session highs as U.S. consumers bought more existing home last month, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Friday, the NAR said that existing home sales surged 11.8% last month, to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.51 million homes.  According to consensus forecasts, economists were expecting to see a sales rate of around 5.10 million.

Gold has been struggling to find momentum, fighting against a stronger U.S. dollar, but the better than expected housing data is not having much impact on the yellow metal. April gold futures last traded at $1,313.70 an ounce, up 0.48% on the day.

Renewed momentum in existing home sales is good news for the housing sector, which has been a significant drag on the U.S. economy. Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, said that the turn in the housing market is the result of lower interest rates, rising incomes and lower prices as inventories grow.

"It is very welcoming to see more inventory showing up in the market,” he said. “For sustained growth, significant construction of moderately priced-homes is still needed. More construction will help boost local economies and more home sales will help lessen wealth inequality as more households can enjoy in housing wealth gains." 

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Looking at prices, the median existing-home price for all housing types, last month was $249,500, up 3.6% from February 2018. Inventories were also up last month with the total number of homes for sale increasing to 1.63 million, representing a 3.5-month supply.

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