U.S. home resales fell more than expected in January and hit an 18 month-low as the combination of cold weather and a lack of housing stock sidelined potential buyers.
The National Association of Realtors said on Friday home sales dropped 5.1 percent to an annual rate of 4.62 million units, the lowest level since July 2012. December's sales pace was unrevised at 4.87 million.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected sales to fall to a 4.68-million pace last month. Existing home sales are counted at the closing of contracts. January's sales mostly reflected contracts signed in December.