The standoff between potential North Texas home sellers and eager buyers continued in February.

The number of preowned houses listed for sale in the area was down 21 percent from February 2012 with the number of homes on the market remaining at the lowest level in more than a decade.

The drop in available homes to purchase came as buyers hit the local housing market hunting for properties.

North Texas preowned home sales rose 14 percent in February from a year ago – the 14th month in a row of double-digit year-over-year gains.

Area real estate agents sold 5,325 preowned single-family homes through their multiple listing service, the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and the North Texas Real Estate Information Systems reported Friday.

Median preowned home sales prices were up 8 percent last month from a year earlier.

With rising buyer demand and low listing inventories, there’s only about a 3.4 month supply of homes available in North Texas.

Housing economists and real estate agents warn that the increases in home sales in the area will slow unless more properties are put on the market.

February is typically the time of year that more houses hit the market. But so far there’s no sign of that.

Last month there were 21,911 preowned single-family homes available – the fewest number of houses listed for sale in the area since 2001, according to Realtor statistics.

Analysts blame the scant housing inventory on investors buying up the bulk of distressed properties at the same time new foreclosures are slowing.

And homeowners who might put their properties on the market are held back by low home equity levels and a lack of available houses for them to move into after a sale.

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