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U.S. existing home sales beat expectations in January, gold price keeps morning gains

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(Kitco News) Gold was relatively unchanged but maintained its early-morning gains as the U.S. existing home sales came in above expectations in January.

Existing home sales rose 0.6% last month to a seasonally adjusted and annualized rate of 6.69 million units, compared to December’s annualized rate of 6.65 million homes, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said on Friday.

The increase comes following an upwardly revised advance of 0.9% in December. Economists were expecting to see a drop of 1.5% to 6.61 million units in January.

Gold prices were largely unchanged following the data release. April Comex gold futures were last trading at $1,786.20, up 0.63% on the day. 

Overall, home sales were up 23.7% on an annual basis – the highest level since April 2006, the NAR said.

“Home sales are continuing to play a part in propping up the economy,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. “With additional stimulus likely to pass and several vaccines now available, the housing outlook looks solid for this year.”

The median price for all home types was $303,900, up 14.1% from last year, marking the 107th straight month of annual gains.

The total inventory was at 1.04 million units, down 1.9% from December and down 25.7% from last year’s total. This marks the lowest level of inventory since the tracking began in 1982.

Inventory remains a problem, added Yun.

"Buyers quickly snatched up virtually every new listing coming on the market," said Yun. "Sales easily could have been even 20% higher if there had been more inventory and more choices."

Live 24 hours gold chart [Kitco Inc.]

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