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by CareyBot

Sales of existing single-family homes rose in February, marking only the eighth month on record that the sales pace has reached or exceeded the 6 million mark, according to the National Association of Realtors. Existing-home sales increased 2 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.12 million units from a downwardly revised pace of 6 million units in January. Last month's sales activity was 5.7 percent above the 5.79-million-unit pace in February 2003. David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, said the housing market could defy expectations this year. "Currently, we are projecting that home sales will decline slightly, but they remain at exceptionally high levels," Lereah said. "With a strong underlying demand for housing from a growing population in a recovering econ...