Existing Home Sales Rose 5.1% in February

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Typical biased reporting. The fall in price from last year is emphasized while the increase from last month isn’t even mentioned.

Existing Home Sales Rebound, but Prices Plunge

by Jeff Bater

Mar 23 (WSJ) — Existing-home sales rebounded in February, climbing above expectations, but prices plunged again.

Home resales climbed to a 4.72 million annual rate, a 5.1% increase from January’s unrevised 4.49 million annual pace, the National Association of Realtors said Monday.

Foreclosures and short sales reflect about 45% of total existing-home sales. Distressed properties are discounted, so the abundance of these sales prices new homes out of the market, discouraging construction and weakening the overall housing sector further.

With so many distressed sales, the median price for an existing home fell last month. At $165,400 in February, the median price was down 15.5% from $195,800 in February 2008. The median price in January this year was $164,800. The 15.5% plunge is the second biggest ever, behind January’s 17.5% drop.