Sales of previously owned homes rose in February, according to new numbers from the National Association of Realtors. In fact, existing-home sales – which include single-family homes, co-ops, condominiums, and townhomes – increased 1.2 percent from the previous month and are now 4.7 percent above year-before levels. The modest improvement may have been more significant if not for inventory issues across the country and severe winter weather in some regions. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said there’s been some stagnation in the market in recent months. “Insufficient supply appears to be hampering prospective buyers in several areas of the country and is hiking prices to near unsuitable levels,” Yun said. “Stronger price growth is a boon for homeowners looking to build additional equity, but it continues to be an obstacle for current buyers looking to close before rates rise.” And, though prices were 7.5 percent above last February, total housing inventory also rose slightly, which should help to balance rising prices. Regionally, the Northeast saw a 6.5 percent decline in sales during the month – likely due to harsh weather – while other areas of the country, such as the South and West, saw increases, with sales in the West up 5.7 percent from the month before. More here.