Existing-home sales slip to 4.48 million

Data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed a decline in total existing-home sales for the month of March. 

Sales of existing-homes declined 2.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.48 million in March.

Still, economists from the NAR see signs of a stabilizing market in the figures. 

“The recovery is happening though not at a breakout pace, but we have seen nine consecutive months of year-over-year sales increases,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.  “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.  With job growth, low interest rates, bargain home prices and an improving economy, the pent-up demand is coming to market and we expect housing to be notably better this year.”

Existing home sales are 5.2% ahead of last year’s pace. 

Yun said the recovery is in the process of settling into a higher level of home sales.  Total housing inventory at the end of March declined 1.3% to 2.37 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 6.3-month supply at the current sales pace, the same as in February.  Listed inventory is 21.8% below a year ago and well below the record of 4.04 million in July 2007.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $163,800 in March, up 2.5% from March 2011. 

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