Home sales plunge 27 percent

WASHINGTON - (AP) - Sales of previously occupied homes fell to the lowest level in 15 years last month as the economy weakened.

The National Association of Realtors says July's sales fell by more than 27 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.83 million. It was the largest monthly drop on records dating back to1968. June's sales pace was revised downward to 5.26 million.

Home sales picked up in the spring when the government wasoffering tax credits. But the market has struggled since the taxcredits expired on April 30. It would take 12.5 months to sell off the 4 million unsold homeson the market at the current sales pace. The median sale price was$182,600, up 0.7 percent from a year ago.

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