Home sales slide in January

Existing-home sales -- including single-family, townhouses, condos and apartment buildings -- declined 0.4 percent last month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million units in January from a level of 4.91 million in December, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The results are 23.4 percent below the 6.44 million-unit pace set in January 2007.

Single-family home sales decreased 0.5 percent, while existing multi-family housing units fell 6.5 percent from the previous year.

The national existing-home price median for all housing types was $201,100, a 4.6 percent drop from a year ago.

Total housing inventory rose 5.5 percent at the end of January to 4.19 million existing homes for sale, representing a 10.3-month supply at the current sales pace.

Regionally, sales of existing homes in the Northeast fell 3.6 percent in January, with the West experiencing the second largest drop at 2.1 percent. Sales in the South slipped 0.5 percent last month. However, the Midwest saw sales of existing homes rise 3.4 percent in January 2007 compared to last year.