Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| Apr 18 2024

U.S. Existing Home Sales Decline in March

  • Sales retreat from twelve-month high.
  • Home prices rebound to seven-month high.
  • Sales decline in much of country.

Sales of existing homes fell 4.3% (-3.7% y/y) during March to 4.19 (SAAR) million from an unrevised 4.38 million in February. January sales also were unrevised at 4.0 million. Sales remained increased from the low of 3.85 million in October 2023. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected March sales of 4.13 million units. The sales figures are based on closings of sales signed in earlier months.

The median price of all existing homes (NSA) improved 2.5% (4.8% y/y) to $393,500 after rising to $383,800 in February. Prices remained 4.9% below the June 2022 peak of $413,800. The median price of an existing single-family home in March improved 2.4% (4.7% y/y) to $397,200 after rising 1.3% in February. The median price for condos & co-ops surged 4.2% (5.8%) to $357,400 after rising 1.0% in February.

Single-family home sales fell 4.3% (-2.8% y/y) last month to 3.80 million units after rising 10.3% February. Sales remained 35.0% below their high of 5.85 million in October 2020. Condo and co-op sales declined 4.9% (-11.4% y/y) to 390,000 after rising 2.5% in February. Sales have declined 47.3% since the January 2021 high of 740,000.

Sales declined throughout most of the country last month. Sales in the West fell 8.2% (-3.7% y/y) to 780,000 after rising 16.4% in February. Sales in the Midwest weakened 1.9% (-1.0% y/y) to 1.01 million last month after rising 8.4% in February. Sales in the South declined 5.9% (-5.0% y/y) in March to 1.90 million after rising 9.8% in February. Sales in the Northeast rose 4.2% (-3.8% y/y) to 500,000 after holding steady for three straight months.

The number of existing homes for sale (NSA) rose 4.7% (14.4% y/y) to 1.1 million in March after rising 5.0% in February. The supply of homes on the market at the current selling rate (NSA) rose to 3.2 months from 2.9 months in February. The record low in supply of 1.6 months was reached in January, 2022. These figures date back to January 1999.

The data on existing home sales, prices and affordability are compiled by the National Association of Realtors. The data on single-family home sales extend back to February 1968. Total sales and price data and regional sales can be found in Haver's USECON database. Regional price and affordability data and national inventory data are available in the REALTOR database. The expectations figure is from the Action Economics Forecast Survey, reported in the AS1REPNA database.

  • Prior to joining Haver Analytics in 2000, Mr. Moeller worked as the Economist at Chancellor Capital Management from 1985 to 1999. There, he developed comprehensive economic forecasts and interpreted economic data for equity and fixed income portfolio managers. Also at Chancellor, Mr. Moeller worked as an equity analyst and was responsible for researching and rating companies in the economically sensitive automobile and housing industries for investment in Chancellor’s equity portfolio.   Prior to joining Chancellor, Mr. Moeller was an Economist at Citibank from 1979 to 1984.   He also analyzed pricing behavior in the metals industry for the Council on Wage and Price Stability in Washington, D.C.   In 1999, Mr. Moeller received the award for most accurate forecast from the Forecasters' Club of New York. From 1990 to 1992 he was President of the New York Association for Business Economists.   Mr. Moeller earned an M.B.A. in Finance from Fordham University, where he graduated in 1987. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from George Washington University.

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