Existing home sales add up the number of previously constructed homes, condominiums and co-ops in which a sale closed during the month. Existing homes (also known as home resales) account for a larger share of the market than new homes and indicate housing market trends.

Once the home is sold, it generates revenues for the realtor. Home buyers often purchase refrigerators, washers, dryers and furniture. The economic ripple effect can be substantial. Trends in the existing home sales data carry valuable clues for the stocks of home builders, mortgage lenders and home furnishings companies.

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