Housing Market Still Under Pressure

Housing Market Still Under Pressure

The pace of existing home sales slowed in the first quarter by almost 7 percent compared to a year ago according tothe National Association of Realtors.

In the latest indication of the housing market's slowdown, the NAR said home sales reached a 6.4 million annual rate compared to 6.9 million in the same quarter of 2006. Home prices are also still falling. The national median existing single-family home price in the first quarter was $212,300, down 1.8 percent from a year ago when the median price was $216,100, according to the NAR's quarterly survey of housing market conditions. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half the homes sold for less.

There are some signs of hope in the housing market.

Existing home sales rose at a 2.4 percent higher annual rate than in the final quarter of 2006. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia showed an increase in the rate of home sales last quarter compared with only six states showing gains a quarter earlier, the NAR said.

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