Existing home sales drop in March after February spike

Existing home sales fell 2.4 percent in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.44 million units, a stark contrast to the 14.5 percent rise in February. NAFCU Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Curt Long analyzed the data in the latest Macro Data Flash report.

“Most buyers lock in rates a month prior to the purchase date, therefore, rising rates in February likely impacted March sales totals,” said Long. “A lack of inventory buoys prices in places that continue to see job growth, however prices are moderating in the most expensive locales around the U.S.”

Existing home sales in March fell across three of the four regions, with the Midwest falling 5.5 percent, followed by the West (-3.5 percent), and South (-1 percent). Sales in the Northeast were flat. Based on current sales, there were 2.6 months of supply at the end of the month; analysts consider 6 months of inventory a rough balance between supply and demand.

In addition, the median existing home price – not seasonally adjusted – rose 3.3 percent in March to 375,000, representing a decline of 0.9 compared to a year ago.


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