Having jumped in February, but failed to gain on a year-over-year basis, the seasonally adjusted pace of existing-home sales across the U.S. dropped 4.9 percent in March to an annual rate of 5.21 million transactions, which is 5.4 percent below the pace as measured at the same time last year, according to the National Association of Realtors.
At the same time, the inventory of existing homes on the market ticked up another 3.1 percent to 1.68 million homes, which is 2.4 percent higher versus the same time last year (versus 1 percent higher in San Francisco).
Out West, the pace of existing-home sales dropped 6.0 percent in March to an annual rate of 1.09 million sales, which is 10.7 percent lower versus the same time last year with a median sale price of $389,300 (which is 3.1 percent above its mark at the same time last year versus a 3.8 percent gain nationally).
And to quote NAR’s chief economist: “The lower-end market is hot while the upper-end market is not. The expensive home market will experience challenges due to the curtailment of tax deductions of mortgage interest payments and property taxes.”