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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Friday, March 20, 2020

Existing Home Sales During February 2020

The Existing Home Sales report for February 2020 was released by The National Association of  Realtors® (NAR®) this morning:

Predicted: 5,500,000
Actual: 5,770,000

  •  Change from Previous Month: +6.458% (+350,000 homes)

  •  Change from One Year Previous: +7.249% (+390,000 homes)
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Inventory: 1,470,000 (3.1 months supply)

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The yellow-highlighted, "actual" figure above represents the preliminary, seasonally adjusted annualized sales count of existing homes, co-ops and condominiums for the indicated month. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

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Median Price for A Used Home During February 2020: $270,100

Change from One Year Previous: +7.997% (+$20,000)

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Average Price for A Used Home During February 2020: $305,800

Change from One Year Previous: +5.997% (+$17,300)



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From Today's Report:


"...'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.'

Yun noted that February’s home sales were encouraging but not reflective of the current turmoil in the stock market or the significant hit the economy is expected to take because of the coronavirus and corresponding social quarantines. 'These figures show that housing was on a positive trajectory, but the coronavirus has undoubtedly slowed buyer traffic and it is difficult to predict what short-term effects the pandemic will have on future sales,' Yun said.

'For the past couple of months, we have seen the number of buyers grow as more people enter the market,' Yun said. 'Once the social-distancing and quarantine measures are relaxed, we should see this temporary pause evaporate, and will have potential buyers return with the same enthusiasm.'

While offering a definitive forecast is extremely difficult in light of this national and global emergency, Yun says home prices will hold on well. 'Unlike the stock market, home prices are not expected to drop because of the on-going housing shortage and due to homes getting delisted during this time of crisis,' he said.

'In the midst of this national emergency, NAR has been and will continue to be in contact with Congressional leaders and White House officials as they consider various policies to ease the economic impact of the coronavirus,' said NAR President Vince Malta, broker at Malta + Co., Inc., in San Francisco, Calif. 'NAR is engaged in these discussions and presenting proposals that will support real estate and the people that make up the industry.'

'It is truly inspiring to see so many of our fellow Realtors® and brokerages adjust on the fly,' Malta continued. 'Agents nationwide are keeping interest alive with innovative technologies, holding virtual open houses and computer-generated tours.'
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