Existing Home Sales Come Right In Line With Expectations

Existing home sales were down 0.4% on the month to an annualized pace of 4.60 million units. This was right in line with expectations.

February’s pace of sales was the lowest since July 2012.

This compares with a 5.1% fall to 4.62 million units in January. The severe winter has weighed on housing data.

The median price for existing homes was up 9.1% from a year ago to $US189,000.

“We had ongoing unusual weather disruptions across much of the country last month, with the continuing frictions of constrained inventory, restrictive mortgage lending standards and housing affordability less favourable than a year ago,” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist said in a press release.

He does however think as the job market improves and delayed transactions get resolved home sales should pick up modestly through this year.

Here’s a look at the regional breakdown:

  • In the Northeast, existing home sales were down 11.3% to an annual rate of 560,000 units, and were down 8.2% from a year ago.
  • In the Midwest, existing home sales were down 3.8% to an annual pace of 1.00 million, and down 12.3% from a year ago.
  • In the South, existing home sales were down 1.5% to an annual rate of 1.98 million, and were down 0.5% from a year ago.
  • In the west, they bucked the trend and were up 5.9% to 1.07 million units, and were up 10.1% from a year ago.

Pending home sales, considered a leading indicator for future existing home sales, finally ticked up modestly in January but had been down for some time.

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