Real estate pros share views on sales lull

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Sales of existing homes fell to their lowest level on record in July even as home prices edged up, according to a report by the National Association of Realtors. Completed transactions of existing single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops fell 27.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.83 million units in July from a downwardly revised 5.26 million in June, the report said. Sales also fell 25.5 percent compared to July 2009. That's the lowest rate since NAR began keeping track of total existing-home sales in 1999, the report said. Single-family home sales, which account for most transactions, fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.37 million -- their lowest level since May 1995, when the sales rate was 3.34 million. NAR attributed the decrease in existing-home sales to the expiration of the federal homebuyer tax credits. In order to claim the credit, buyers had to be under contract by April 30. The original deadline to close the transactions wa...