Existing home sales declined for the second month in a row in July to its lowest level this year as inventory remains relatively low and prices continue to increase, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday.

The decline in existing home sales, which account for about 90% of the market, follows a U.S. Census Bureau report Wednesday showing new home sales fell a seasonally adjusted 9.4% from June to July and were down 8.9% from a year earlier.

Existing homes sold at a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.44 million homes a year in July, down from 5.51 million in June and 5.62 million in May as declines in the Northeast and Midwest outweighed sales increases in the South and West. July's sales pace is still 2.1% above a year ago, but is the lowest of 2017.

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Jim DuPlessis

A journalist for decades.