National home sales drop in February

National home sales fell in February.After three straight increases, the National Association of Realtors says existing home sales dropped in February.The group says sales fell 9.6 percent from January to February, and finished the month down 2.8 percent from February 2010, when the first-time homebuyer tax credit was still in effect. The drop in demand and heavy volume of foreclosures also led to a drop in home prices, which fell 5.2 percent from their year-ago levels.”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 economistHowever, Yun added that sales are still more than 26 percent above their lows from last July.Locally, the NAR says the Houston real estate market continued to perform well. The group says median prices in February were up 4.1 percent compared to last year, even though sales were down 0.1 percent.

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