The following appeared in the Wednesday April 23, 2008 edition of the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Page 2C, courtesy of the Associated Press.
Sales of existing homes fell in March, the seventh drop in the past eight months, as the spring sales season got off to a rocky start.
The median price of a home was down compared with a year ago, and some economists predicted home prices could keep falling for months given all the troubles weighing on housing, from a severe credit crunch to a rising tide of foreclosures.
The National Association of Realtors reported Tuesday that sales of existing single-family homes and condominiums dropped by 2 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.93 million units.
The median price of a home sold last month was $200,700, a decline of 7.7 percent from a year ago and the seventh consecutive year-over-year price drop. It also was the second biggest decline following a record 8.4 percent drop in Fedruary. These records go back to 1999.
The median sales price in March was up from a February median of $195,600. Analysts said this was statistically meaningless because the monthly price changes are not adjusted for seasonal variations and prices always rise in March at the start of the spring sales season.