Home Sales Rose Last Month; Past Years Revised Lower

The number of Americans who bought previously occupied homes rose last month. But the National Association of Realtors said it overstated more than 3 million sales during and after the Great Recession, showing the housing market was weaker than previously thought.

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The private trade group said sales rose 4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.42 million. That's below the roughly 6 million homes a year that economists say are consistent with a healthy housing market. But it's ahead of 2008's revised sales, now considered the worst in 13 years.

The trade group revised its sales from 2007 to 2010 down 16.7 percent, from nearly 17.7 million to 14.7 million. The sales are measured when buyers close on homes.