Data released by the National Association of Realtors on Tuesday showed existing home sales remained flat in March as home prices slowed their upward climb.
Existing home sales, or completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, fell 0.2 percent in March and were approximately eight percent below last March’s pace.
“There really should be stronger levels of home sales given our population growth,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “In contrast, price growth is rising faster than historical norms because of inventory shortages.”
Yun said home sales will likely increase in coming months with ongoing job creation and weather-delayed shopping activity, particularly if inventory improves and interest rates rise at a moderate pace.
The median existing home price in March totaled $198,500—an approximate eight percent increase from the previous year.
Additionally, 10 percent of March sales were foreclosures and four percent were short sales. Foreclosures sold for an average 18 percent less than market value, while short sales were discounted 12 percent.
Overall housing inventory increased in March to reach two million existing homes available for sale—a 5-month supply at the current sales pace, up slightly from February and up three percent from one year ago.