The sales rate for resale homes dropped 5.3 percent in January to a 12-year-low, the National Association of Realtors reported today, and fell 8.6 percent compared to the same month last year.

The sales rate for resale homes dropped 5.3 percent in January to a 12-year-low, the National Association of Realtors reported today, and fell 8.6 percent compared to the same month last year.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of resale home sales dipped to 4.49 million in January — this rate is a projection of a monthly sales total over a 12-month period, adjusted to account for typical seasonal variations in sales activity.

NAR reported that the inventory of for-sale resale homes sank 2.7 percent in January and fell 13.5 percent compared to January 2008, NAR reported, and the months’ supply of homes for sale rose 2.1 percent in January while dipping 5.9 percent compared to January 2008.

The median price of U.S. resale homes dropped 14.8 percent in January 2009 compared to January 2008. And regionally, the median price fell 25.5 percent in the West, 14.7 percent in the Northeast, 7.4 percent in the South and 6.8 percent in the Midwest.

Also, last month’s sales rate dipped 23.8 percent in the Northeast, 16.7 percent in the Midwest and 15.9 percent in the South while rising 29 percent in the West compared to January 2008. Compared to December 2008, the sales rate dropped 14.7 percent in the Northeast, 5.7 percent in the Midwest and South, and remained level in the West.

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