WASHINGTON — While the National Association of Realtors reported the largest monthly rise in home sales in three years during the month of February that gain was prior to concerns over the subprime market struck.

Additionally, that rate was only achieved after the median home price fell 1.3% from the previous year, according to NAR.

"The housing sales data we got today is history," CUNA Chief Economist Bill Hampel told CNN Money. "The news on the subprime has all come since these contracts were signed." Now, the market and regulatory response to subprime mortgage issues means fewer people will not be able to qualify for the same mortgage amounts as they previously might have. This will mean extra homes on the market providing further downward pressures, he added. "All of this points to a softer housing market than we otherwise would have expected," Hampel told CNN Money.

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