After three consecutive months of existing-home sales increases, the National Association of Realtors reported a 9.6% drop in completed transactions for February.
The NAR's existing-home sales figure fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million, compared to 5.40 million in January. The February pace is 2.8% below the February 2010 pace of 5.03 million.
“Housing affordability conditions have been at record levels and the economy has been improving, but home 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,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “This tug and pull is causing a gradual but uneven recovery. Existing-home sales remain 26.4% above the cyclical low last July.”
The NAR also reported that the national median existing-home price for all housing types was $156,100 in February, down 5.2% from February 2010.