HOME SALES: U.S. home sales retreated 1.3 percent in January from the prior month, but low mortgage rates helped enable an increase in purchases from a year ago.
The National Association of Realtors said Friday that sales of existing homes slipped last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million.
Sales have climbed 9.6 percent over the past 12 months as borrowing costs have fallen. But sales could be squeezed in the coming months because of a shortage of homes listed for sale.
Just 1.42 million homes were on the market at the end of January, a 10.7 percent decline from a year ago. With fewer homes for sale, would-be buyers have fewer options and prices are rising faster than wage growth.
The median sales price in January was $266,300, up 6.8 percent from a year ago.
RECALL: Kia is joining its affiliate Hyundai in recalling thousands of vehicles in the U.S. because water can get into a brake computer, cause an electrical short and possibly a fire.
The Kia recall covers nearly 229,000 Sedona minivans from the 2006 through 2010 model years. Also covered are Sorento SUVs from 2007 through 2009. Kia is telling owners to park their vehicles outside and away from structures and other vehicles until the problem can be fixed. The company says in government documents that moisture can get into the antilock brake control computer and cause an electrical short and possible fires.
From wire reports