Sales of existing homes in the United States declined by 2.8 percent in January, the fifth consecutive month of drop, The National Association of Realtors reported on Tuesday.
Analysts said that it is the latest sign that once-sizzling U.S. housing market is cooling down further.
The report showed that sales of previously owned homes dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.56 million units in January, the lowest level in two years.
Even with the slowdown in sales, home prices held steady with the median price in January at 211,000 dollars, unchanged from the December level. However, the median sales price in last month increased by 11.6 percent compared with the same month of 2005.
Sales of both existing and new homes in the United States set records for the fifth straight year in 2005, but analysts believe that sales of existing homes will fall by around 5 percent this year as rising interest rates cut into demand.
The Commerce Department also reported on Monday that sales of new homes in the country declined by 5 percent in January, the second drop in the past three months.