Existing-home sales dropped following February’s rebound by 4.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.21 million in March, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This followed 11.5 percent growth in February. Sales are 5.4 percent below the March 2018 level.
Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, anticipated waning in the numbers for March. “It is not surprising to see a retreat after a powerful surge in sales in the prior month. Still, current sales activity is under-performing in relation to the strength in the jobs markets. The impact of lower mortgage rates has not yet been fully realized.”
The total housing inventory increased to 1.68 million, up from 1.63 million existing homes available for sale in February and a 2.4% increase from 1.64 million a year ago. The median home price was $259,400, up 3.8% from March 2018 ($249,800). March’s price increase marks the 85th straight month of year-over-year gains.
Distressed sales were 3.0 percent of the total, down from 4% last month and down from 4% in March 2018.
Read the NAR release.