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Financial News: U.S. Existing Home Sales Extend Pullback In March

U.S. Existing Home Sales Extend Pullback In March

04/20/2022 - 10:39:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - After reporting a sharp pullback in U.S. existing home sales in the previous month, the National Association of Realtors released a report on Wednesday showing existing home sales saw further downside in the month of March.

NAR said existing home sales slumped by 2.7 percent to an annual rate of 5.77 million in March after plunging by 8.6 percent to a downwardly revised rate of 5.93 million in February.

Economists had expected existing home sales to tumble by 3.7 percent to a rate of 5.80 million from the 6.02 million originally reported for the previous month.

With the continued decrease, existing home sales continued to give back ground after reaching their highest rate in a year in January.

"The housing market is starting to feel the impact of sharply rising mortgage rates and higher inflation taking a hit on purchasing power," said NAR's chief economist Lawrence Yun. "Still, homes are selling rapidly, and home price gains remain in the double-digits."

The report showed total housing inventory spiked 11.8 percent to 950,000 units in March from 850,000 units in February but was still down by 9.5 percent compared to 1.05 million units a year ago.

The unsold inventory represents 2.0 months of supply at the current sales rate, up from 1.7 months in February but down from 2.1 months in March 2021.

NAR also said the median existing home price was $375,300 in March, up 4.5 percent from $359,300 in February and up 15.0 percent from $326,300 a year ago.

"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."

The report showed single-family home sales tumbled by 2.7 percent to an annual rate of 5.13 million in March, while existing condominium and co-op sales dove by 3.0 percent to an annual rate of 640,000.

Next Tuesday, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release its report on new home sales in the month of March.

New home sales are currently expected to rise by 0.5 percent to an annual rate of 776,000 in March after slumping by 2.0 percent to a rate of 772,000 in February.

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