The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) reported on Wednesday (4-20-22) that total existing home sales, which are completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops, dropped -2.7% in March from February to a seasonally adjusted rate at 5.77 million homes. This marks the second consecutive month of declines. Year-over-year existing home sales are down -4.5% (6.04 million in March 2021).
Sales waned in three of the four major U.S. regions in March, while holding steady in the West. Year-over-year sales were down in all four regions.
Total housing inventory at the end of March 2022 totaled 950,000 units, up 11.8% from February but down -9.5% from one year ago (1.05 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 2.0-month supply at the present sales pace, up from 1.7 months in February but down from 2.1 months in March 2021.
The median existing-home price for all housing types in March was $375,300, up 15.0% from March 2021 ($326,300), as prices rose in each region. This marks 121 consecutive months of year-over-year increases, the longest-running streak on record.
In remarks prepared for the release of March’s report, Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said, “The housing market is starting to feel the impact of sharply rising mortgage rates and higher inflation taking a hit on purchasing power. Still, homes are selling rapidly, and home price gains remain in the double-digits. It appears first-time homebuyers are still looking to lock in at current mortgage rates before they inevitably increase.”
“With rising mortgage rates, cash sales made up a larger fraction of transactions, climbing to the highest share since 2014,” Yun noted.
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