After two straight months of ugliness in all housing data, existing home sales in February bounced modestly, now up 1.1% year-over-year as median home prices jumped 5.9% year-over-year.
Existing home sales rose 3.0% MoM (vs +0.4% exp and -3.2% prior) to a 5.54mm SAAR.
Single-family home sales increased 4.2 percent last month to an annual rate of 4.96 million. Purchases of condominium and co-op units declined 6.5 percent to a 580,000 pace (down 4.9% YoY – the worst since Sept 2014)
However, the inventory of available properties plunged 8.1% YoY to 1.59mm, the lowest for February in data going back to 1999.
While purchases rose 11.4%MoM in The West, The NorthEast saw a 12.3% MoM plunge in sales (blamed on weather)
“There’s no letup in home-price growth, another testament to the solid, strong housing demand in the marketplace,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said in a conference call with reporters.
“If prices were weakening that may be signaling a possible turning point but we are not really seeing that.” Inventory conditions remain “very tight,” he said.
However, it’s not been a pretty start to 2018 for US housing data as the Hurricane/Flood bump fades…