Monday, March 23, 2015

Existing Home Sales Improve Slightly

Existing home sales rose 1.2% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million.

The median existing-home price increased 7.5% year-over-year to $202,600 in February, the largest gain since the 8.8% increase in February 2014.

Total housing inventory increased 1.6% in February to 1.89 million homes available for sale, but remained 0.5% below February 2014. There is currently a 4.6-month supply of total existing homes available for sale, consistent with January.

Existing home sales were mixed across the four regions, as month-over-month sales declined 6.5% in the Northeast, remained unchanged in the Midwest, increased 1.9% in the South and jumped 5.7% in the West.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun noted: “Insufficient supply appears to be hampering prospective buyers in several areas of the country and is hiking prices to near unsuitable levels,” he said. “Stronger price growth is a boon for homeowners looking to build additional equity, but it continues to be an obstacle for current buyers looking to close before rates rise.”

All-cash sales were 26% of transactions in February, one percentage point lower than in January and 9 percentage points lower than February 2014.

First-time home buyers represent 29% of all buyers, up from 28% in January.

Read the NAR report.

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