Existing Home Sales Fell in February but Supply Remains Extremely Tight

Sales of existing homes decreased 7.2 percent in February, to a 6.02 million seasonally adjusted annual rate. Sales are down 2.4 percent from a year ago.

Sales in the market for existing single-family homes, which account for about 89 percent of total existing-home sales, dropped 7.0 percent in February, coming in at a 5.35 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (see first chart). From a year ago, sales are down 2.2 percent.

Condo and co-op sales fell 9.5 percent for the month, leaving sales at a 670,000 annual rate for the month versus 740,000 in January (see first chart). From a year ago, condo and co-op sales were off 4.3 percent.

The dominant single-family segment saw sales decline in all four regions. Sales fell 12.1 percent in the Midwest, 10.9 percent in the Northeast, the smallest region by volume, 4.5 percent in the West, and 4.2 percent in the South, the largest region by volume. Sales are also down in three of the four regions measured from a year ago (-13.6 percent in the Northeast, -8.5 percent in the West, and -2.4 percent in the Midwest, but up 4.2 percent in the South).

Condo and co-op sales were down in three regions in February, -14.3 percent in the Northeast, -11.4 percent in the South, and -6.7 percent in the West, but were unchanged in the Midwest.  From a year ago, sales are off in three regions but up 11.1 percent in the Midwest.

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