April 22, 2019
Existing-home sales retreated in March, following February’s surge of sales, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Each of the four major U.S. regions saw a drop-off in sales, with the Midwest enduring the largest decline last month.
Total sales fell 4.9% from February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.21 million in March. Sales as a whole were down 5.4% in March from a year ago (5.51 million in March 2018). The March drop follows a gain of 11.2% in February, the largest in more than three years.
NAR’s chief economist Lawrence Yun says, “It is not surprising to see a retreat after a powerful surge in sales in the prior month. Still, current sales activity is underperforming in relation to the strength in the jobs markets. The impact of lower mortgage rates has not yet been fully realized.”
The hottest metro areas in March were Columbus, OH, Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA, Midland, TX, Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA and Stockton-Lodi, CA.
In the Midwest, existing-home sales declined 7.9% from last month to an annual rate of 1.17 million, 8.6% below March 2018 levels. The West fell 6% to an annual rate of 1.09 million in March, 10.7% below a year ago.
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Dennis Kaiser