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NAR: Sales, prices sink in August

Real estate brief

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Sales and prices of existing homes in August fell approximately 10 percent from a year ago, as total for-sale inventory declined by 128,000 units, according to data released today by the National Association of Realtors. The seasonally adjusted sales rate, which includes single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, sank to 4.91 million units last month -- a 2.2 percent drop from 5.02 million in July and 10.7 percent lower than the 5.5 million in August 2007. The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $203,100 in August, down 9.5 percent from $224,400 a year ago. While total housing inventory at the end of August (4.26 million units) was 2.9 percent lower than a year ago (4.38 million units), the supply of homes for sale actually rose during the period from 9.6 months to 10.4 months, indicating longer days on market. By region, existing-home sales fell sharpest in the South (-15.1 percent) compared to a year ago, followed by the Northeast (-15 per...