Existing-home sales fall in March; supply main constraint through 2021

Existing-home sales fell 3.7 percent in March to a seasonally-adjusted rate of 6.01 million units, representing a 12.3 percent increase in sales versus a year ago. NAFCU’s Curt Long analyzed the data in a new Macro Data Flash report.

“Headwinds are mounting as mortgage rates spiked 20 basis points over the course of the month, causing demand to dip and buyers to hold off,” said Long, NAFCU’s chief economist and vice president of research. “Mortgage applications have also fallen to their pre-pandemic level.

“New homes being built should also relieve some price pressure, but they won’t be ready until later in the year. NAFCU expects sales to be strong for the rest of the year, only limited by supply and the resulting price increases,” concluded Long.

Sales fell in all four regions in March, with the West seeing the largest drop (-8 percent), followed by the South (-2.9 percent), Midwest (-2.3 percent), and Northeast (-1.3 percent). Versus a year ago, sales were up in all regions over the month.


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