Existing home sales dropped to the lowest level in a year and a half.
The housing recovery proves its staying power in 2013.
California saw the biggest decline in signed home contracts, while the Northeast gained.
In a market with tight inventory, California homes are selling the fastest.
Buyers were in a hurry to close deals while the getting was good.
The housing market took another big step into solid territory.
The housing market paused in its recovery, but buyer demand is increasing.