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Big Plunge, But Prices Rise

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Given that the federal tax credit was extended last fall, buyers had less of an incentive to run out and purchase, according to the National Association of Realtors, which reported today that sales of existing homes plunged 17 percent nationwide in December. At the same time, home prices rose. More from the NAR: "Existing-home sales in the West declined 4.8 percent to an annual rate of 1.38 million in December but are 15.0 percent higher than a year ago. The median price in the West was $236,000, up 2.7 percent from December 2008." [NAR]