Existing-home sales were down 6.6 percent from January to February, according to data released Monday from the National Association of Realtors.

Existing-home sales dropped 6.6 percent from January to February, as inventory remains at historic lows, prices continue to soar across the country and mortgage rates continue to march upward on a weekly basis.

Lawrence Yun | Photo credit: NAR

Even with the drop, existing-home sales remained 9.1 percent higher than February 2020, according to the data released Monday by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which shows the housing market is outperforming last year’s sales rate before the pandemic shut the country down.

“Despite the drop in home sales for February — which I would attribute to historically-low inventory — the market is still outperforming pre-pandemic levels,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said in a statement.

Total inventory at the end of the month amounted to 1.03 million units, the same as the end of January, but 29.5 percent below last year’s level. There are two months of unsold inventory supply at the current sales pace.

With inventory at historic lows, the competition for homes continues to push prices upward. The median existing-home price for all housing types in February climbed 15.8 percent year over year, to $313,000.

Rising home prices and mortgage rates over 3 percent could eventually cut into affordability and further slow the booming housing market, according to Yun, but he still expects it will outperform last year’s levels.

“I still expect this year’s sales to be ahead of last year’s, and with more COVID-19 vaccinations being distributed and available to larger shares of the population, the nation is on the cusp of returning to a sense of normalcy,” Yun said. “Many Americans have been saving money and there’s a strong possibility that once the country fully reopens, those reserves will be unleashed on the economy.”

Email Patrick Kearns

Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription