Existing Home Sales +6.5% in February, Highest Level Since February 2007
Washington, D.C. (PPD) — Existing home sales surged 6.5% in February to the highest level in 13 years, easily beating the consensus forecast and high end of the range. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said only the Northeast saw a decline, “while other areas saw increases, including sizable sales gains in the West.”
Forecasts ranged from a low of 5.39 million to a high of 5.65 million. The consensus forecast was 5.50 million.
Total existing-home sales — which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops — rose to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.77 million in February. Overall sales rose significantly year-over-year for the eighth straight month, up 7.2% from a year ago (5.38 million in February 2019).
“February’s sales of over 5 million homes were the strongest since February 2007,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “I would attribute that to the incredibly low mortgage rates and the steady release of a sizable pent-up housing demand that was built over recent years.”
The median existing-home price for all housing types in February was up 8.0% from February 2019 ($250,100) to $270,100. Prices rose in every region and it marks 96 straight months of year-over-year gains.