Existing home sales fell fractionally in February from the previous month but the housing and mortgage industries received a new dose of bad news Tuesday morning with total inventories rising 9.5% during the month to 3.59 million units.

Also, some housing analysts now expect a compressed spring home buying season because of expiring federal tax credits benefiting first-time homebuyers and certain move-up customers. Another bad omen for the market, according to analyst Eric Landry of Morningstar, is an increase in listings by non-distressed sellers.

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