Jan. 25, 2007 -- Sales of existing homes fell 0.8 percent in December, down 7.9 percent from the same period last year, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday.

Sales of single-family homes, townhouses, condos, and co-ops in December dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.22 million from 6.27 million in November, the report said.

For the year, there were 6.48 million existing-home sales in 2006, down 8.4 percent from 2005 and leaving 3.51 million homes on the market at the end of the year, the report said.

Despite weaker sales, national median prices rose 1.1 percent last year to $222,000, the report said.

"Tightening inventory of homes on the market is supporting prices," David Lereah, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said in a statement.

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