March Home Sales, Prices Fall

Buyers can't get loans, or are awaiting bigger price drops
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2008 10:02 AM CDT
Home for sale signs line a street of a new subdivision in Cascade Locks, Ore., Wednesday, April 9, 2008.   (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
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(Newser) – Prices on existing homes fell in March, but buyers stayed away, either unable to get loans, or betting on yet bigger drops, Bloomberg reports. Sales dropped 2%, to an annual rate of 4.93 million, as the median price fell to $200,700 from $217,400 last year. The number of available homes meanwhile swelled by 40,000, exacerbating supply problems.

"There still is an imbalance in the existing housing market that needs to be corrected through lower inventories and higher sales," said one Lehman Brothers economist. "As long as the housing market remains weak we think the economy will remain weak as well."