Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says first-time buyers accounted for half of all home sales last month, with activity concentrated in lower price ranges.

“Because entry level buyers are shopping for bargains, distressed sales accounted for 40 to 45 percent of transactions in February,” he says. “Our analysis shows that distressed homes typically are selling for 20 percent less than the normal market price, and this naturally is drawing down the overall median price.”

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