March 22, 2016
The National Association of Realtors reports U.S. home sales slumped in February, reversing months of gains. The dip was caused by low inventories that pushed prices to elevated levels, resulting in restricted sales.
Sales of existing homes fell 7.1 percent in February, to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.08 million. The decline came after new regulation had delayed closings in November, which led to robust sales in January (5.47 million) and in December (5.45 million).
The shortage of housing supply is blamed on the housing burst bubble, which left a limited selection of homes for buyers. Inventory is particularly low for starter homes, keeping first-time buyers out of the market, according to a separate report from the real estate firm Trulia.