Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

Existing-home sales slip in February

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Sales of existing homes slipped slightly from January to February, but were up 8.8 percent from the same time a year ago, the National Association of Realtors reports.The 0.9 percent January-to-February decline in existing-home sales was a surprise to some analysts, and NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun acknowledged that the market "is trending up unevenly."NAR said a survey of its members showed that 31 percent of Realtors experienced contract failures in February, often because buyers saw their mortgage applications turned down, or because appraisals came in below the negotiated price. That compares with 33 percent reporting contract failures in January, and 9 percent in February 2011."Many buyers are staying in the market after experiencing a contract failure and making an offer on another property, showing their determination to take advantage of the favorable conditions, but the cancellations are contributing to an uneven sales pattern," Yun said.The number of h...