Existing-home sales declined 2.4% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.44 million, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Sales fell year-over-year, down 22.0% from March 2022. First-time buyers were responsible for 28% of sales in March, up from 27% in February but down 30% in March 2022.
“Home sales are trying to recover and are highly sensitive to changes in mortgage rates,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Yet, at the same time, multiple offers on starter homes are quite common, implying more supply is needed to fully satisfy demand. It’s a unique housing market.”
Total housing inventory2 registered at the end of March was 980,000 units, up 1.0% from February and 5.4% from one year ago (930,000).
The median existing home price for all housing types in March was $375,700, a decline of 0.9% from March 2022 ($379,300). Prices climbed slightly in the three regions but dropped in the West.
Distressed sales – foreclosures and short sales – represented 1% of sales in March, nearly identical to last month and one year ago.
Read the NAR release.