Existing-home sales reversed a 12-month slide in February, registering the largest monthly percentage increase since the middle of the pandemic in 2020, according to the National Association of Realtors. Month-over-month sales rose in all four major U.S. regions. All regions posted year-over-year declines.
Total existing-home sales completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops vaulted 14.5 percent from January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.58 million in February. Year-over-year, sales fell 22.6 percent.
In the Northeast, existing-home sales improved 4 percent from January to an annual rate of 520,000 in February, down 25.7 percent from February 2022. The median price in the Northeast was $366,100, down 4.5 percent from the previous year.
“Conscious of changing mortgage rates, home buyers are taking advantage of any rate declines,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Moreover, we’re seeing stronger sales gains in areas where home prices are decreasing and the local economies are adding jobs.”
Total housing inventory registered at the end of February was 980,000 units, identical to January and up 15.3% from one year ago (850,000). Unsold inventory sits at a 2.6-month supply at the current sales pace, down 10.3 percent from January but up from 1.7 months in February 2022.
“Inventory levels are still at historic lows,” Yun added. “Consequently, multiple offers are returning on a good number of properties.”
The median existing-home price for all housing types in January was $363,000, a decline of 0.2 percent from February 2022 as prices climbed in the Midwest and South yet waned in the Northeast and West. This ends a streak of 131 consecutive months of year-over-year increases, the longest on record.
Single-family home sales soared to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.14 million in February, up 15.3 percent from 3.59 million in January but down 21.4 percent from the previous year. The median existing single-family home price was $367,500 in February, down 0.7 percent from February 2022.
Existing condominium and co-op sales were recorded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 440,000 units in February, up from 410,000 in January but down 32.3 percent from one year ago. The median existing condo price was $321,000 in February, an annual increase of 2.5 percent.