Total existing-home sales -- including condominiums and co-operatives -- set the third-highest pace on record in the first quarter, rising in 44 states and the District of Columbia from the levels recorded a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors.The seasonally adjusted annual resales rate was 6.84 million units in the first quarter, up 8.3% from 6.32 million in the first quarter of 2004. (The record high of 6.90 million units was set in the second quarter of 2004, followed by 6.88 million in the fourth quarter of last year, the NAR reported.) The biggest year-over-year gains were recorded in Alaska, where the resale rate was up 21.4%; Wyoming, up 17.5%; and Oregon, up 17.3%. The NAR can be found online at http://realtor.org.

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