Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

Existing-home sales up in February

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Sales of existing homes rose 5.1 percent from January to February, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.72 million units, the National Association of Realtors reported today. Distressed sales accounted for 40 to 45 percent of transactions, and total housing inventory grew 5.2 percent, to 3.8 million existing homes for sale. At the current pace of sales, that's a 9.7-month supply of homes, unchanged from January but down from the record of 11.2 months seen in July. A six-month supply of housing is generally seen as a healthy balance between supply and demand. The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $165,400 in February, down 15.5 percent from a year ago. The median home price was pushed down by sales of distressed homes, which are selling for 20 percent less than normal market price, said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. The median condominium price was down 18.2 percent from a year ago, to $172,200, and sales of existing condos and co-ops w...