Existing-Home Sales Fall 2.7% as Higher Mortgage Rates Impact Sales in March 2022
Wednesday Apr 20th, 2022
By: Michael Hyman
NAR released a summary of existing-home sales data showing that housing market activity this March weakened 2.7% from February 2022. March's existing-home sales reached a 5.77 million seasonally adjusted annual rates. March's sales of existing homes declined 4.5 % from March 2021.
The national median existing-home price for all housing types reached its highest point, at $375,300, in March, up 15% from a year ago. Home prices have continued to rise, and this marks the 121st consecutive month of year-over-year gains.
Regionally, in March, all four regions showed strong price growth from a year ago. The South had the largest gain of 21.2% followed by the West with an incline of 10.4%. The Northeast showed an increase of 6.8% and the West had the smallest price gain of 5.4% from March 2021.
March's inventory of unsold listings as of the end of the month rose 11.8% from last month, standing at 950,000 homes for sale. Compared with March of 2021, inventory levels are 9.5% lower. This would mark 34 straight months of year-over-year declines. It will take two months to move the current level of inventory at the current sales pace, well below the desired pace of six months.
Demand remains strong as home buyers are snatching listings quickly off the MLS and it takes approximately 17 days for a home to go from listing to a contract in the current housing market. A year ago, it took 18 days.
A year ago, all four regions of the U.S. had declines in sales in March. The Northeast had the biggest dip of 11.8% followed by the West which fell 4.7%. The Midwest decreased by 3.1% followed by the South, which was down 3.0%.
Compared to February 2022, three of the four regions also showed reductions in sales in March, while the West was flat. The Midwest region had the largest decline of 4.5% followed by the South with a drop of 3%. The Northeast had the smallest dip in sales of 2.9%.
The South led all regions in percentage of national sales, accounting for 45.4% of the total, while the Northeast had the smallest share at 11.6%.
In March, single-family sales decreased 2.7% and condominiums sales fell 3% compared to last month. Single-family home sales were down 3.8%, while condominium sales fell 9.0%, compared to a year ago. The median sales price of single-family homes rose to 15.2%, at $382,000 from March 2021, while the median sales price of condominiums rose 11.9%, to $322,000.