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Financial News: U.S. Existing Home Sales Unexpectedly Spike To Highest

U.S. Existing Home Sales Unexpectedly Spike To Highest Level In A Year

03/21/2024 - 11:06:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - After reporting a notable increase in U.S. existing home sales in the previous month, the National Association of Realtors released on report on Thursday showing existing home sales unexpectedly continued to soar in the month of February.

NAR said existing home sale index spiked by 9.5 percent to an annual rate of 4.38 million in February after jumping by 3.1 percent to a rate of 4.00 million in January.

The continued surge came as a surprise to economists, who had expected existing home sales to pull back by 1.5 percent to a rate of 3.94 million.

With the unexpected increase, existing home sales reached their highest level since hitting an annual rate of 4.530 million in February 2023.

"Additional housing supply is helping to satisfy market demand," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "Housing demand has been on a steady rise due to population and job growth, though the actual timing of purchases will be determined by prevailing mortgage rates and wider inventory choices."

The report said total housing inventory at the end of February was 1.07 million units, up 5.9 percent from 1.01 million units in January and up 10.3 percent from 970,000 units a year ago.

The unsold inventory represents 2.9 months of supply at the current sales pace, down from 3.0 months in January but up from 2.6 months in February 2023.

NAR also said the median existing home price for all housing types was $384,500 in February, an increase of 5.7 percent from $363,600 a year ago.

Next Monday, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release a separate report on new home sales in the month of February.

Economists currently expect new home sales to surge to an annual rate of 673,000 in February after jumping to a rate of 661,000 in January.

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