Existing Home Sales Rose in February: NAR

Written by David Schollaert

Existing home sales rebounded in February from January, swinging positive for the first time in 13 months, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

However, all four major regions in the US registered year-over-year (YoY) drops, though month-on-month (MoM) sales were up among the four regions, NAR said.

Sales of existing homes surged 14.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.58 million in February, the largest monthly gain since July 2020. Despite the gain, sales were still down 22.6% from a year earlier.

“Conscious of changing mortgage rates, home buyers are taking advantage of any rate declines,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement. “Moreover, we’re seeing stronger sales gains in areas where home prices are decreasing and the local economies are adding jobs.”

NAR said total housing inventory registered at the end of February stood at 980,000 units, unchanged from January and up 15.3% from the year-ago period. The association noted that unsold inventory sits at a 2.6-month supply at the current sales pace, down 10.3% from January but up from 1.7 months in February 2022.

“Inventory levels are still at historic lows,” Yun added. “Consequently, multiple offers are returning on a good number of properties.”

Existing home sales in the Northeast rose 4% from January to an annual rate of 520,000, but were down 25.7% from a year earlier. They were up 13.5% MoM and 18.7% YoY, respectively, to 1.09 million in the Midwest. Sales rebounded 15.9% MoM but were down 21.3% YoY, respectively, to 2.11 million in the South. Existing home sales surged 19.4% MoM but were down 28.3%, respectively, to 860,000 in the West.

The median existing-home price for all housing types slipped 0.2% in February to $363,000 vs. February 2022, as prices climbed in the Midwest and South yet fell in the Northeast and West.

This ends a streak of 131 consecutive months of YoY increases, the longest on record., NAR said.

Existing home sales include completed transactions of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops.

By David Schollaert,


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