March 20, 2014

Existing-home sales down in February

March 21, 2014 – Existing-home sales went down 0.4 percent in February but are expected to improve as warmer weather arrives, according to a NAFCU Macro Data Flash.

NAFCU Research Assistant Doug Christman analyzed data from the National Association of Realtors for the report and found that existing-home sales decreased slightly to an annualized 4.6 million units, seasonally adjusted – which is down 7.1 percent from last year.

However, existing-home sales went up in two regions – in the West by 5.9 percent and in the South by 1.5 percent. The biggest decline was seen in the Northeast, where sales decreased 11.3 percent.

"Rising mortgage interest rates, limited housing inventory, severe winter weather and tighter credit all contributed to slow sales in February," Christman wrote. "Existing-home sales are expected to improve as warmer weather brings more buyers to the market."

The median existing-home price increased from a revised $187,700 in January to $189,000 (not seasonally adjusted) in February – which is up from $173,200 a year ago.