On Monday January 25, 2010, 3:26 pm,
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of previously occupied homes rose in 2009 for the first time in four years, despite a December slump that was due to a tax credit that had caused many buyers to complete sales earlier.
Still, prices plunged more than 12 percent last year — the sharpest fall since the Great Depression. The price drop for 2009 — to a median of $173,500 — showed the housing market remains too weak to help fuel a sustained economic recovery. Total sales for 2009 were nearly 5.2 million, up about 5 percent from 2008