Existing-home sales falter in February

Distressed properties jump to 39% of sales, drive prices down

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After three straight months of increases, sales of existing homes dropped in February, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors.

"Housing affordability conditions have been at record levels and the economy has been improving, but home sales are being constrained by the twin problems of unnecessarily tight credit, and a measurable level of contract cancellations from some appraisals not supporting prices negotiated between buyers and sellers," said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, in a statement.