U.S. Existing Home Sales Plunge Much More Than Expected In February

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Existing home sales in the U.S. tumbled by much more than expected in the month of February, according to a report released by the National Association of Realtors on Monday.

NAR said existing home sales plunged by 6.6 percent to an annual rate of 6.22 million in February after inching up by 0.2 percent to a downwardly revised rate of 6.66 million in January.

Economists had expected existing home sales to slump by 3.0 percent to a rate of 6.49 million from the 6.69 million originally reported for the previous month.

“Despite the drop in home sales for February – which I would attribute to historically-low inventory – the market is still outperforming pre-pandemic levels,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

The report said existing home sales in February were up by 9.1 percent compared to a rate of 5.70 million in the same month a year ago.

The median existing home price was $313,000 in February, up 3.1 percent from $303,600 in January and up 15.8 percent from $270,400 in February of 2020.

NAR also said total housing inventory in February was unchanged from January at 1.03 million units, down 29.5 percent from 1.46 million a year ago.

The unsold inventory represents 2.0 months of supply at the current sale pace, up from 1.9 months in January but down from 3.1 months in February of 2020.

The report also said single family home sales plummeted by 6.6 percent to a rate of 5.52 million, while existing condominium and co-op sales tumbled by 6.7 percent to a rate of 700,000.

On Tuesday, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release a separate report on new home sales in the month of February. New home sales are expected to plunge by 6.5 percent.


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