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Existing-home sales falter in October

NAR: Tight credit, low appraisals holding back sales

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The sales rate of existing homes fell in October, following two monthly sales increases, according to a report by the National Association of Realtors. Closed sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.43 million in October, down 2.2 percent from September.That's also a 25.9 percent drop compared to October 2009, when the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate stood at 5.98 million -- sales received a lift at that time due to the approaching Dec. 1, 2009, deadline of a federal first-time homebuyer tax credit program.Year-to-date, sales are down 2.9 percent, to 4.15 million, compared to the same period in 2009. Sales had previously risen month-to-month in August and September. "The housing market is experiencing an uneven recovery, and a temporary foreclosure stoppage in some states is likely to have held back a number of completed sales," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, in a statement He als...