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Existing home sales jump 9.5% in February

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Existing home sales increased 9.5% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.38 million, marking the largest monthly increase since February 2023, but overall sales declined 3.3% from the previous year, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Total existing home sales – completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – jumped 9.5% from January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.38 million in February. Year-over-year, sales slid 3.3% (down from 4.53 million in February 2023).

“Additional housing supply is helping to satisfy market demand,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “Housing demand has been on a steady rise due to population and job growth, though the actual timing of purchases will be determined by prevailing mortgage rates and wider inventory choices.”

Total housing inventory, registered at the end of February was 1.07 million units, up 5.9% from January and 10.3% from one year ago (970,000). Unsold inventory sits at a 2.9-month supply at the existing sales pace, down from 3 months in January but up from 2.6 months in February 2023.

The median existing home price for all housing types in February was $384,500, an increase of 5.7% from the prior year ($363,600).

First-time buyers accounted for 26% of sales in February, down from 28% in January and 27% in February 2023.

All-cash sales accounted for 33% of transactions in February, up from 32% in January and 28% one year ago. Individual investors or second-home buyers, who make up many cash sales, purchased 21% of homes in February, up from 17% in January and 18% in February 2023.

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