US home sales fell in September to slowest pace in 3 years

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WASHINGTON U.S. home sales fell for the sixth straight month in September, a sign that housing has become a weak spot for the economy.

The National Association of Realtors says sales declined 3.4 percent last month, the biggest drop in 2 ½ years, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.15 million. That's the lowest sales pace since November 2015.

Hurricane Florence dragged sales in North Carolina, but even excluding the storm's effects, sales would fallen more than 2 percent. Sales of existing homes have declined steadily in the past year amid rapid price increases, higher mortgage rates and a tight supply of available houses.

Sales fell 4.1 percent in September from a year ago. The drop may worsen in the coming months as mortgage rates have kept rising.