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US existing home sales miss forecasts in February

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Friday 21 Feb 2020

US existing home sales miss forecasts in February

(Sharecast News) - Existing home sales dipped at the start of 2020, dragged lower by softer activity in the West, but prices gained as inventories remained at their lowest level since 1999.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the annualised pace of home sales dropped at a month-on-month pace of 1.3% to reach 5.46m (consensus: 5.48m).

The median price for existing homes on the other hand increased by 6.8% year-on-year to reach $266,300, with prices higher across the entire country and the stock of homes available for sale down to just 3.1 months' worth.

The latter was up from 3.0 months in December 2019 and down from 3.8 months in the comparable year ago month.

In comparison to their year earlier level, existing home sales were running at a pace of 9.6%.

Commenting on the data, NAR chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said the latest figures continued the "fluctuating pattern of monthly increases and declines".

Yun went on to describe January's reading as "strong", also saying that "the trend line for housing starts is increasing and showing steady improvement, which should ultimately lead to more home sales."

Sales increased in all US regions versus a year ago, but when measured against the previous month only rose in the Midwest by 2.4% to reach an annualised pace of sales of 1.29m.

In the West, sales fell 9.4%, pushing the annual rate of sales to 1.06m.

In the South, sales increased by 0.4% to 2.38m while in the Northeast they were flat at 730,000.

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