U.S. home sales fall as record-low inventory boosts prices

By Lucia MutikaniWASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. home sales fell more than expected in December as the supply of houses on the market dropped to a record low, pushing up prices and sidelining some potential first-time buyers.

The decline in home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors on Wednesday followed three straight months of strong increases. Inventory constraints dogged the housing market last year against the backdrop of robust demand, largely driven by a labour market that is near full employment.Economists expected supply.

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