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Existing-home sales slide as Q1 ends


Housing conditions were mixed in March.

Sales of existing residential properties fell in March from levels seen a month earlier, though the end-of-first-quarter total still outmatched the final figure recorded the year before, indicating the market has improved by leaps and bounds since that time.

Existing-home sales fell more than 0.5 percent to a rate of 4.92 million last month, a report from the National Association of Realtors explained. Despite the drop, the figure was still more than 10 percent improved from one year earlier.

Home prices showed positive signs during the year, as the median price for existing-home sales was $184,300, the report noted. This was more than 11 percent higher than the figure recorded in March 2012.

"Buyer traffic is 25 percent above a year ago when we were already seeing notable gains in shopping activity," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR. "In the same timeframe housing inventories have trended much lower, which is continuing to pressure home prices."

This report was not the only one to signal an improvement in the housing market recently. A report from CoreLogic showed home prices rose 0.5 percent in February from January's level. There also was a yearly gain of more than 10 percent during that period.

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