Falling home sales in the West could indicate trouble

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Existing-home sales in the West dropped 7.1 percent in October from September, a larger percentage drop than all other U.S. regions — South, Midwest and Northeast — combined, according to National Association of Realtors data.

NAR attributes the drop to extremely tight inventory. But given that the 11-state region was the first to show signs of both the bust and the recent recovery, the drop in sales in the West could foreshadow another trend shift, CNBC’s Diana Olick reports.

Tight credit conditions and a dearth of lower-priced homes are contributing to the drop in sales, but the median price of homes has held strong, Olick notes. But California-based housing analyst Mark Hanson tells Olick that it costs “a lot more today to pay for a house using a mortgage than it did from 2004 to 2008,” so if that period was bubble, “then this must be, too.” Source: CNBC.