Forexpros - U.S. existing home sales unexpectedly declined to an eight-month low in July, industry data showed on Thursday.
In a report, the National Association of Realtors said that existing home sales declined by 3.5% to a seasonally adjusted 4.67 million units in July, confounding expectations for a gain of 2.7% to 4.90 million units.
The previous month's figure was revised up to 4.84 million units from a previously reported 4.77 million.
Commenting on the report, Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR said, "Affordability conditions this year have been the most favorable on record dating back to 1970, but many buyers are being held back because banks are offering financing to only the most highly qualified borrowers, ignoring a large share of otherwise creditworthy buyers."
"Those potential buyers represent the difference between an uneven recovery and a much more robust housing market that could stimulate additional economic activity and create jobs," he added.
Following the release of the data, the U.S. dollar was up against the euro, with EUR/USD falling 0.64% to trade at 1.4333.
Meanwhile, U.S. equity markets were down sharply after the open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 3.9%, the S&P 500 index tumbled 4.3%, while the Nasdaq Composite index plummeted 4.7%.
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