Existing-Home Sales Declined 2.7% in March
Washington, DC, April 20, 2022-Total existing-home sales dipped 2.7% from February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.77 million in March, according to the National Association of Realtors. Year-over-year, sales fell 4.5% (6.04 million in March 2021).
"The housing market is starting to feel the impact of sharply rising mortgage rates and higher inflation taking a hit on purchasing power," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. "Still, homes are selling rapidly, and home price gains remain in the double-digits."
With mortgage rates expected to rise further, Yun predicts transactions to contract by 10% this year, for home prices to readjust, and for gains to grow around 5%.
Total housing inventory at the end of March totaled 950,000 units, up 11.8% from February and 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 and 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.
"Home prices have consistently moved upward as supply remains tight," Yun said. "However, sellers should not expect the easy-profit gains and should look for multiple offers to fade as demand continues to subside."
Properties typically remained on the market for 17 days in March, down from 18 days in February and 18 days in March 2021. Eighty-seven percent of homes sold in March 2022 were on the market for less than a month.
First-time buyers were responsible for 30% of sales in March, up from 29% in February and down from 32% in March 2021. NAR's 2021 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers reported that the annual share of first-time buyers was 34%.