Existing Home Sales Rose 11.8% in February
Washington, DC, March 22, 2019-Total existing-home shot up 11.8% from January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.51 million in February, according to the National Association of Realtors.
However, sales are down 1.8% from a year ago (5.61 million in February 2018).
Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, credited a number of aspects to the jump in February sales. "A powerful combination of lower mortgage rates, more inventory, rising income and higher consumer confidence is driving the sales rebound."
The median existing-home price for all housing types in February was $249,500, up 3.6% from February 2018 ($240,800). February's price increase marks the 84th straight month of year-over-year gains.
Total housing inventory at the end of February increased to 1.63 million, up from 1.59 million existing homes available for sale in January, a 3.2% increase from 1.58 million a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 3.5-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 3.9 months in January but up from 3.4 months in February 2018.
Properties remained on the market for an average of 44 days in February, down from 49 days in January but up from 37 days a year ago. Forty-one percent of homes sold in February were on the market for less than a month.
Yun, who has called for more inventory over the course of 2018, says the market would benefit greatly in 2019 with additional new housing.
"For sustained growth, significant construction of moderately priced-homes is still needed. More construction will help boost local economies and more home sales will help lessen wealth inequality as more households can enjoy in housing wealth gains." A typical homeowner accumulated an estimated $8,700 in housing equity over the past 12 months and $21,300 over the past 24 months.