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Existing home sales down 5.1 percent in January, versus -3.5% estimate

A RE/MAX Collection 'For Sale' sign stands outside of a home in Seattle, Washington.
David Ryder | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A RE/MAX Collection 'For Sale' sign stands outside of a home in Seattle, Washington.

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Economists in a consensus survey expected existing home sales to fall in January by 3.5 percent to 4.7 million, compared to the prior month's level of 4.87 million and growth rate of 1 percent.

(Read more: Cost of owning a home is spiking in 2014)

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