NAR: Existing-home sales post biggest gain in a year 

by John Yellig

Existing-home sales jumped in February, posting their largest monthly increase since February 2023, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) said.    

Specifically, sales rose 9.5% from January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.38 million. Year-over-year, sales were down 3.3% from 4.53 million in February 2023. The median existing-home price for all housing types in January was $384,500, up 5.7% from $363,600 a year before.        

“Additional housing supply is helping to satisfy market demand,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a press release. “Housing demand has been on a steady rise due to population and job growth, though the actual timing of purchases will be determined by prevailing mortgage rates and wider inventory choices.” 

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.74% as of March 14, down from 6.88% a week before but up from 6.60% a year earlier, according to Freddie Mac.         

Total housing inventory at the end of February stood at 1.07 million units, up 5.9% from January and 10.3% from the year-ago level of 970,000. Unsold inventory stood at a 2.9-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 3 months in January but up from 2.6 months in February 2023.  

Properties typically remained on the market for 38 days in January, up from 36 days in January and 34 days in February 2023.    

By property type, single-family home sales in January surged 10.3% month over month to an annual rate of 3.97 million. The median existing single-family home price was $388,700, up 5.6% on a year-over-year basis.                        

Existing condominium and co-op sales were up 2.5% compared to January, at an annual rate of 410,000. The median existing condo price was $344,000, up 6.7% from February 2023.    

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