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Existing-home sales rise 8.3% in Q1

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Existing-home sales rose 8.3 percent in the first quarter compared to fourth-quarter 2010, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors. Sales remained nearly flat year-over-year, dipping 0.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.14 million. Also in the first quarter, sales prices fell 4.6 percent nationwide compared to first-quarter 2010, to a median $158,700. Sales of single-family homes, condominiums and co-ops, on a quarter-to-quarter basis, rose in every state and Washington, D.C., except Vermont. There, sales fell 7.1 percent. Sales jumped the most in the West (13.5 percent), followed by the South (8.5 percent), and the Midwest (7.9 percent). In the Northeast, sales stayed nearly flat, rising 0.8 percent. South Dakota and Minnesota saw the biggest quarter-to-quarter sales jumps: 123.3 percent and 45.7 percent, respectively. Year-over-year, only the South and West saw sales increases: 2.8 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively. Sales fell in 36 states...