Existing Homes Sales Increase in Feb., Home Inventory Falls

Washington, D.C.–Existing home sales rose for the first time in seven months, according to data released Monday by the National Association of Realtors.Falling prices helped home sales increase to a 5.03 million annual rate–a 2.9 percent increase from January’s unrevised 4.89 million pace, The Wall Street Journal reports.Year-to-year, sales were down 24 percent, NAR said.Median home prices also dropped from their February 2007 level–$213,000–to $195,000 last month. The 8.2 percent decline was NAR’s largest on record. In January, the median home price was $199,700.Home inventories fell 3 percent at the end of last month to 4.03 million, a 9.6-month supply. At the end of January, the U.S. had a 10.2-month supply.