Home Resales Decline in February, But Supply Remains Tight
Existing home sales slipped 0.4% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.79 million, the National Association of Realtors® reported last week, but they remained 6.1% ahead of the sales pace of 6.40 million units one year earlier.
“In essence, home sales were surging at unprecedented levels for most of last year,” said David Lereah, the association’s chief economist. “The cooling we expect in sales this year means we’ll be transitioning from a white-hot housing market into a very strong market that still favors home sellers, but should become more balanced as the year progresses.”
For now, an extraordinarily tight supply of housing relative to demand is pushing up housing prices at a rate that is far higher than normal, said Al Mansell, the Realtors’ president and CEO of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Salt Lake City.
The median existing-home price was $191,000 in February, up 11% from a year earlier.
Resales of condominium and cooperative units accounted for 12.5% of market activity last month, the Realtors said. Existing condo sales were down 1.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 848,000.
Increases in condominium prices continued to outstrip those for single-family homes. The median condo price was $210,700 in February, up 20.5% from a year earlier, compared to $188,200 for single-family homes, which represented a 9.4% annual price gain.
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