Sales of existing homes in February dipped 23.8% from the same month in 2007 to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.03 million units, according to the most recent figures from the National Association of Realtors. That mark was 2.9% higher than the pace for January.
Sales of single family homes for the month were down 22.9% year-over-year, to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of nearly 4.5 million units.
Median sales price for an existing home during February was $195,900, down 8.2% from the median in February of last year, and down 1.9% from January. At current sales rates, there were 9.6 months' inventory of unsold homes on the market, up 39.1% from the inventory in February, 2007.
“We’re not expecting a notable gain in existing-home sales until the second half of this year, but the improvement is another sign that the market is stabilizing,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Buyers taking advantage of higher loan limits for both FHA and conventional mortgages will unleash some pent-up demand. As inventories are drawn down, prices in many markets should go positive later this year.”