Sales of existing homes in the United States slipped 3.7 per cent in February after reaching their fastest pace for a decade in January.

However, the National Association of Realtors reports that sales were 5.4 per cent above the level of February 2016 with a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million.

Foot traffic reported by real estate agents is up compared to a year ago but tight inventory means sales are happening quickly, leaving buyers with limited choices and rising prices.

The median existing price for all home types was up 7.7 per cent year-over-year to $228,400.

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