THE HOUSING BOOM
Purchases dropped 9.2 percent during the month to a 1.106 million annual rate from revised 1.218 million in December that was higher than first reported, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. The median sales price declined to $199,400, the lowest since December 2003, from $229,700.
Measured against sales, the supply of homes increased to 4.7 months in January, the highest since June 2000. A record number of homes for sale may limit new construction and restrain prices, suggesting waning pent-up demand. Sales are down 13 percent from the record high 1.27 million pace in March of last year.