The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Thursday that the
U.S. existing home sales fell 2.4 percent m-o-m to a seasonally adjusted rate
of 4.44 million in March from a downwardly revised 4.55 million (from 4.48
million) in February.
Economists had forecast home re-sales decelerating to a 4.50 million-unit
pace last month.
In y-o-y terms, existing-home sales plummeted 22.0 percent in March.
According to the report, three of the four major regions - the Midwest,
the South, and the West - demonstrated m-o-m declines in existing-home sales in March
and all four showed drops in sales in y-o-y terms.
Over the reviewed period, the median existing-home price for all housing
types slipped 0.9 percent y-o-y to $375,700 in March.
Single-family home sales came in at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of
3.99 million in March, down 2.7 percent m-o-m and 21.1 percent y-o-y. Meanwhile, existing condominium and co-op
sales were registered at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 450,000 units in March,
flat m-o-m but down 28.6 percent y-o-y.
Commenting on the latest data, Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, noted
that home sales are trying to recover and are highly sensitive to changes in
mortgage rates. "Yet, at the same time, multiple offers on starter homes
are quite common, implying more supply is needed to fully satisfy demand,"