Nationwide sales of existing homes were up 5.1 percent in February from January as falling prices and incentives for first-time buyers peaked.
Sales of existing homes rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.72 million units in February from 4.49 million units in January, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The median home sale price dropped 3 percent in February to $165,400 from $170,300 in January. Prices have declined in each of the last 30 months, except August 2007, when there was a 0.1% increase. February's median sale price was 15.5% lower than the $195,800 a year earlier.