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Existing home sales fall 9.6 percent in February

Tight credit is believed to be partially responsible for the rate of home sales declining in February.

Tight credit is believed to be partially responsible for the rate of home sales declining in February.

The National Association of Realtors has released its existing-home sales report, and it looks as though fewer people were moving in the month of February.

According to the report, which tracks the sales rate of single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, transactions fell to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million last month, a 9.6 percent decline compared to January and a 2.8 percent drop compared to February 2010.

Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, said a combination of factors led to the lower figure.

"Housing affordability conditions have been at record levels and the economy has been improving, but home sales are being constrained by the twin problems of unnecessarily tight credit, and a measurable level of contract cancellations from some appraisals not supporting prices negotiated between buyers and sellers," Yun said.

Out-of-pocket sales for homes are continuing to rise, as 33 percent of transactions in February were all-cash.

Cash sales are particularly prevalent in certain regions of the country. Last month, the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors found that half of all homes sold in the Las Vegas area in January were purchased with cash.