Existing-home sales rose slightly in January and prices continued their year-over-year climb on plunging inventory, according to a monthly report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released today. Existing homes sold at seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.92 million during January, down 0.4 percent from December but up 9.1 percent from a year ago.The national median existing-home price fell 4 percent from December but was up 12.3 percent from a year ago to $173,600. It was the 11th consecutive month to show an annual increase in median price -- a string not seen since May 2006. Existing-home inventory dropped 25.3 percent from a year ago to 1.74 million units, which represents a supply of 4.2 months at the current sales rate. That's the lowest since April 2005, when inventory also equaled to 4.2 months of supply. In raw numbers, there were fewer homes on the market in January than at any time since December 1999. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said buyer demand i...
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