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Sales of Previously Owned Homes Slump 9.6%

March 21, 2011

Sales of Previously Owned Homes Slump 9.6%

03/21/2011 By: Carrie Bay

Existing-home sales fell in February following three straight monthly increases, according to data released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Monday.

Existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops, dropped 9.6 percent to an annual rate of 4.88 million in February from an upwardly revised 5.40 million in January. February’s reading is 2.8 percent below the 5.02 million pace for the same period last year.

The latest figures came in much lower than analysts were expecting. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist says current market conditions make for an uneven recovery.

“[H]ome sales are being constrained by the twin problems of unnecessarily tight credit and a measurable level of contract cancellations from some appraisals not supporting prices negotiated between buyers and sellers,” Yun said. “This tug and pull is causing a gradual but uneven recovery.”

Still, Yun notes that existing-home sales remain 26.4 percent above the cyclical low seen last July.


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