Promising changes in existing-home market, despite dip in sales rate

Real estate data indicates that the existing-home sales rate fell slightly lower in March as property values and the inventory stabilized.

Real estate data indicates that the existing-home sales rate fell slightly lower in March as property values and the inventory stabilized.

Existing-home sales, including single-family units, townhouses, condos and co-ops, dipped 2.6 percent during the month to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 4.48 million sales, according to the National Association of Realtors. However, despite the month-over-month decline, the rate was 5.2 percent higher than March 2011.

"The recovery is happening though not at a breakout pace, but we have seen nine consecutive months of year-over-year sales increases," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. "Existing-home sales are moving up and down in a fairly narrow range that is well above the level of activity during the first half of last year."

Meanwhile, the report found that the home inventory thinned 1.3 percent to an estimated 2.37 million units - representing a 6.3-month supply. In addition, the median sales price of existing-homes rose 2.5 percent to $163,800. 

As the housing market enters its peak buying season in the spring and summer months, the stabilization of the existing-home sector could result in a surge in the sales rate in the near-future.



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