Forex »

Previously-Owned US Home Sales Fall to 20-Month Low: NAHB

Finances
Share on StockTwits
Published on
www.finances.com
Previously-Owned US Home Sales Fall to 20-Month Low: NAHB

The sale of previously-owned US homes fell further in March, as rising prices continued to weigh down the housing recovery.

Existing US home sales slid 0.2 percent to 4.59 million in March, a 20-month low, the National Association of Realtors reported today. Existing home sales declined 0.4 percent in February and 5.1 percent at the start of the year, as severe weather resulted in a sharp decline in buyer traffic.

Compared to March 2013, existing home sales were down 7.5 percent.

The spring season is a critical one for the housing market. According to NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun, the market should expect to see a rebound in the coming months. However, the key challenge continues to be affordability.

The median sale price of an existing US home in March was $198,500, up 7.9 percent from a year earlier. Mortgage rates have been rising since last May when the Federal Reserve announced it would begin scaling back accommodative policies. According to Freddie Mac, a 30-year fixed rate mortgage had an average interest rate of 4.27 percent last week, up from 3.45 percent a year earlier.

The Commerce Department will report on new home sales Wednesday. The sale of new homes is expected to have rebounded slightly in March after falling 3.3 percent the previous month. Building permits declined 2.4 percent in March after rebounding 7.7 percent the previous month. Housing starts rose 2.8 percent, official data showed.

Share on StockTwits