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Halfway through 2011, home sales on pace to finish as worst since housing bust

WASHINGTON — Halfway through 2011, people are buying homes at the weakest pace in 14 years.

Sales of previously occupied homes fell in June for a third straight month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.77 million homes, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday.

Home sales have fallen in four of the past five years. This year’s pace is lagging behind the 4.91 million homes sold last year — the fewest since 1997. In a healthy economy, people buy roughly 6 million homes per year.

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