Sales of previously owned homes were down 2.6 percent in March but gained 5.2 percent from last year’s levels. According to the National Association of Realtors, existing-home sales, which include single-family, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops, fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.48 million in March from an upwardly revised 4.60 million the month before. But despite the dip in month-over-month sales, the March report contained encouraging signs for the housing market. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said there have been nine consecutive months of year-over-year sales increases and with job growth, low mortgage rates, and affordable prices, the demand is coming to the market. Also in the report, the supply of available homes is 21.8 percent below last year’s level, after a 1.3 percent decline in inventory in March. And the median existing-home price was $163,800, which is an increase of 2.5 percent over last year.