Existing home sales fell 7.1 percent in Feb. to an annual rate of 5.07 million units, the lowest level since Nov., according to what the National Association of Realtors (NAR) tells MHProNews. Since the new mortgage regulations designed to increase transparency took effect in October, sales have been volatile, prone to big swings up and down.
Sales fell across the country, with the Northeast registering a 17.1 percent drop. Although sales were up 2.2 percent from the previous Feb., economists had expected sales to fall 2.8 percent in Feb. to an annual pace of 5.32 million units last month.
The median price for an existing home rose 4.4 percent from one year ago to $210,800.
The improving labor market is slowly pushing up wage growth and household formation, but the low inventory of available homes continues as a challenge. “Finding the right property at an affordable price is burdening many potential buyers,” said NAR economist Lawrence Yun.
The number of unsold homes on the market rose 3.3 percent from Jan. to 1.88 million units, a drop of 1.1 percent from a year ago. At Feb.’s sales pace it would take 4.4 months to sell all the homes on the market, an increase from 4.0 months in Jan. As cnbc reports, a six months supply is considered a healthy balance between supply and demand. ##
(Photo credit:wenatcheeworld/Mike Irwin)
Article submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.