Existing-home sales fell 2.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.44 million in March, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ (NAR) most recent existing-home sales report.
NAR’s latest data on existing homes for March found that year-over-year, sales decreased 22%, down from 5.69 million last year. All regions posted year-over-year decreases, while month-over-month sales declined in three out of four major U.S. regions and sales in the Northeast remained steady.
Key data points:
- Total housing inventory was at 980,000 units, up 1% from February and 5.4% from one year ago (930,000). Unsold inventory sits at a 2.6-month supply at the current sales pace, unchanged from February but up 2 months from last year.
- The median existing-home price for all housing types was $375,700, a decline of 0.9% from last year’s $379,300. Prices climbed slightly in three regions but dropped in the West.
- Properties typically remained on the market for 29 days, down from 34 days in February but up from 17 days last year. 65% of homes sold were on the market for less than a month.
- First-time buyers were responsible for 28% of sales, up from 27% in February but down from 30% last year.
- All-cash sales accounted for 27% of transactions, down from 28% in February and one year ago. Individual investors or second-home buyers, who make up many cash sales, purchased 17% of homes, down from 18% in February and the previous year.
- Distressed sales—foreclosures and short sales—represented 1% of sales in March, nearly identical to last month and one year ago.
Single-family and condo/co-op sales:
- Single-family home sales faded to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.99 million in March, down 2.7% from 4.10 million in February and 21.1% from one year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $380,000 in March, down 1.4% from March 2022.
- Existing condominium and co-op sales were recorded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 450,000 units in March, identical to February but down 28.6% from the previous year. The median existing condo price was $337,300 in March, an annual increase of 2.1%.
- Sales in the Northeast were unchanged at an annual rate of 520,000, but down 21.2% from one year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $395,400, up 1% from one year ago.
- In the Midwest, sales retracted 5.5% to an annual rate of 1.03 million, falling 17.6% from last year. The median price in the Midwest was $273,400, up 1.7% from last year.
- Sales in the South receded 1% to an annual rate of 2.07 million, a 20.4% decrease from the prior year. The median price in the South was $347,600, an increase of 0.3% from the prior year.
- In the West, sales declined 3.5% to an annual rate of 820,000, down 30.5% from one year ago. The median price in the West was $565,400, down 7.5% from one year ago.
“Home sales are trying to recover and are highly sensitive to changes in mortgage rates,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Yet, at the same time, multiple offers on starter homes are quite common, implying more supply is needed to fully satisfy demand. It’s a unique housing market.”
“Home prices continue to rise in regions where jobs are being added and housing is relatively affordable,” Yun added. “However, the more expensive areas of the country are adjusting to lower prices.”
Yun concluded, “With overall consumer price inflation calming and rents expected to decelerate from robust apartment construction, the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy will surely shift from tightening to neutral to possibly loosening over the next 12 months. Therefore, home sales will steadily rebound despite several months of fluctuations.”
For the full report, click here.