Existing-Home Sales Descended 4.3% in March

BY GlobeNewswire | ECONOMIC | 04/18/24 10:00 AM EDT

Washington, D.C., April 18, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

Key Highlights

  • Existing-home sales retreated 4.3% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.19 million. Sales fell 3.7% from the previous year.
  • The median existing-home sales price rose 4.8% from March 2023 to $393,500 ? the ninth consecutive month of year-over-year price gains and the highest price ever for the month of March.
  • The inventory of unsold existing homes grew 4.7% from one month ago to 1.11 million at the end of March, or the equivalent of 3.2 months? supply at the current monthly sales pace.

? ? ? ? ? ? ?Existing-home sales slipped in March, according to the National Association of Realtors?. Among the four major U.S. regions, sales slid in the Midwest, South and West, but rose in the Northeast for the first time since November 2023. Year-over-year, sales decreased in all regions.
Total existing-home sales[1]?? completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops ? receded 4.3% from February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.19 million in March. Year-over-year, sales waned 3.7% (down from 4.35 million in March 2023).
?Though rebounding from cyclical lows, home sales are stuck because interest rates have not made any major moves,? said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. ?There are nearly six million more jobs now compared to pre-COVID highs, which suggests more aspiring home buyers exist in the market.?
Total housing inventory[2] registered at the end of March was 1.11 million units, up 4.7% from February and 14.4% from one year ago (970,000). Unsold inventory sits at a 3.2-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 2.9 months in February and 2.7 months in March 2023.
?More inventory is always welcomed in the current environment,? Yun added. ?Frankly, it?s a great time to list with ongoing multiple offers on mid-priced properties and, overall, home prices continuing to rise.?
The median existing-home price[3] for all housing types in March was $393,500, an increase of 4.8% from the previous year ($375,300). All four U.S. regions registered price gains.
REALTORS? Confidence Index
According to the monthly REALTORS? Confidence Index, properties typically remained on the market for 33 days in March, down from 38 days in February but up from 29 days in March 2023.
First-time buyers were responsible for 32% of sales in March, up from 26% in February and 28% in March 2023. NAR?s 2023 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers ? released in November 2023[4] ? found that the annual share of first-time buyers was 32%.
All-cash sales accounted for 28% of transactions in March, down from 33% in February but up from 27% one year ago.
Individual investors or second-home buyers, who make up many cash sales, purchased 15% of homes in March, down from 21% in February and 17% in March 2023.
Distressed sales[5] ? foreclosures and short sales ? represented 2% of sales in March, virtually unchanged from last month and the prior year.
Mortgage Rates
According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.88% as of April 11. That?s up from 6.82% the previous week and 6.27% one year ago.
Single-family and Condo/Co-op Sales
Single-family home sales declined to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.8 million in March, down 4.3% from 3.97 million in February and 2.8% from the prior year. The median existing single-family home price was $397,200 in March, up 4.7% from March 2023.
At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 390,000 units in March, existing condominium and co-op sales decreased 4.9% from last month and 11.4% from one year ago (440,000 units). The median existing condo price was $357,400 in March, up 5.8% from the previous year ($337,900).
Regional Breakdown
Existing-home sales in the Northeast climbed 4.2% from February to an annual rate of 500,000 in March, ending a four-month streak where sales in the Northeast registered 480,000 units. Compared to March 2023, home sales were down 3.8%. The median price in the Northeast was $434,600, up 9.9% from one year ago.
In the Midwest, existing-home sales retracted 1.9% from one month ago to an annual rate of 1.01 million in March, down 1.0% from the prior year. The median price in the Midwest was $292,400, up 7.5% from March 2023.
Existing-home sales in the South faded 5.9% from February to an annual rate of 1.9 million in March, down 5.0% from one year before. The median price in the South was $359,100, up 3.4% from last year.
In the West, existing-home sales slumped 8.2% from a month ago to an annual rate of 780,000 in March, a decline of 3.7% from the previous year. The median price in the West was $603,000, up 6.7% from March 2023.
About the National Association of Realtors?
The National Association of Realtors? is America?s largest trade association, representing 1.5 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. The term Realtor? is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of Realtors? and subscribes to its strict?Code of Ethics.

# # #

For local information, please contact the local association of Realtors? for data from local multiple listing services (MLS). Local MLS data is the most accurate source of sales and price information in specific areas, although there may be differences in reporting methodology.
NOTE: NAR?s Pending Home Sales Index for March is scheduled for release on April 25, and Existing-Home Sales for April will be released on May 22. Release times are 10 a.m. Eastern.

Information about NAR is available at nar.realtor. This and other news releases are posted in the newsroom at nar.realtor/newsroom. Statistical data in this release, as well as other tables and surveys, are posted in the ?Research and Statistics? tab.

[1] Existing-home sales, which include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, are based on transaction closings from Multiple Listing Services. Changes in sales trends outside of MLSs are not captured in the monthly series. NAR benchmarks home sales periodically using other sources to assess overall home sales trends, including sales not reported by MLSs.
Existing-home sales, based on closings, differ from the U.S. Census Bureau?s series on new single-family home sales, which are based on contracts or the acceptance of a deposit. Because of these differences, it is not uncommon for each series to move in different directions in the same month. In addition, existing-home sales, which account for more than 90% of total home sales, are based on a much larger data sample ? about 40% of multiple listing service data each month ? and typically are not subject to large prior-month revisions.
????????????? The annual rate for a particular month represents what the total number of actual sales for a year would be if the relative pace for that month were maintained for 12 consecutive months. Seasonally adjusted annual rates are used in reporting monthly data to factor out seasonal variations in resale activity. For example, home sales volume is normally higher in the summer than in the winter, primarily because of differences in the weather and family buying patterns. However, seasonal factors cannot compensate for abnormal weather patterns.
????????????? Single-family data collection began monthly in 1968, while condo data collection began quarterly in 1981; the series were combined in 1999 when monthly collection of condo data began. Prior to this period, single-family homes accounted for more than nine out of 10 purchases. Historic comparisons for total home sales prior to 1999 are based on monthly single-family sales, combined with the corresponding quarterly sales rate for condos.

[2] Total inventory and month?s supply data are available back through 1999, while single-family inventory and month?s supply are available back to 1982 (prior to 1999, single-family sales accounted for more than 90% of transactions and condos were measured only on a quarterly basis).

[3] The median price is where half sold for more and half sold for less; medians are more typical of market conditions than average prices, which are skewed higher by a relatively small share of upper-end transactions. The only valid comparisons for median prices are with the same period a year earlier due to seasonality in buying patterns. Month-to-month comparisons do not compensate for seasonal changes, especially for the timing of family buying patterns. Changes in the composition of sales can distort median price data. Year-ago median and mean prices sometimes are revised in an automated process if additional data is received.
The national median condo/co-op price often is higher than the median single-family home price because condos are concentrated in higher-cost housing markets. However, in a given area, single-family homes typically sell for more than condos as seen in NAR?s quarterly metro area price reports.

[4] Survey results represent owner-occupants and differ from separately reported monthly findings from NAR?s REALTORS? Confidence Index, which include all types of buyers. The annual study only represents primary residence purchases, and does not include investor and vacation home buyers. Results include both new and existing homes.

[5] Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales), days on market, first-time buyers, all-cash transactions and investors are from a monthly survey for the NAR?s?REALTORS? Confidence Index, posted at nar.realtor.

Attachment

  • Infographic
Image: https://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/ti?nf=OTA5MTk4NSM2MjA4Mjg0IzIyMDU3OTY=
Image: https://ml.globenewswire.com/media/MGNkYjc3MzktOWJhZi00NGVhLWE0NTEtNjYwY2RmMTdhMjgyLTEyMTczNDk=/tiny/National-Association-of-Realto.png
Troy Green
National Association of Realtors?
tgreen@nar.realtor
Source: National Association of Realtors?

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