Industry News

NAR blames weather, subprime woes for sales drop

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The rate of existing-home sales fell 11.3 percent and the median price dropped 0.3 percent in March compared to the same month last year, the National Association of Realtors reported today. Existing-home sales -- including single-family homes, townhomes and condominiums -- fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.12 million in March, down 8.4 percent compared to February. This was the largest month-over-month decline since January 1989, when home sales fell 12.6 percent compared to the prior month. But the Realtor group notes that year-over-year change is more statistically meaningful than month-to-month comparisons. The seasonally adjusted annual rate is a projection of a monthly sales total over a 12-month period, adjusted to account for seasonal variations in sales activity. "Unusually bad winter weather" and "a decrease in subprime lending volume" may have contributed to the slowing sales volume, the Realtor trade group reported. The rate of existing-home sales had increase...