Existing home sales plunged 6.6% in February to an adjusted annual rate of 6.22 million, according to the National Association of Realtors press release. The sales were still 9.1% higher than last year.
Housing inventory remained at a record-low of 1.03 million units, down 29.5% year over year, fueling home sales decline.
The median existing-home sales price rose 15.8% to $313,000 year over year, as all regions posted double-digit price gains.
Fixed-rate mortgage rate was 2.81% in February, up from 2.74% in January.
NAR’s chief economist Lawrence Yun cautioned of a possible slowdown in growth in the coming months as higher prices and rising mortgage rates cut into home affordability.
First-time buyers accounted for 31% of sales in February, down from 33% in January and from 32% in February 2020.
Second-home buyers purchased 17% of homes, up from 15% in January and equal to the percentage from February 2020
Distressed sales held to January’s 1% of sales, but down from 2% in February 2020.
SPDR Homebuilders ETF is currently declining. XHB is down 0.73%