Existing home sales in the US increased 1.2 per cent in February, and the share of sales for first-time buyers registered its first gain since last November. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported February 2015 total existing home sales at a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.88 million units combined, up from 4.82 million units in January. February existing sales were up 4.7 per cent from the same period a year ago.
The first-time buyer share increased to 29 per cent in February, up from 28 per cent in January and very similar to February of 2014. A full recovery awaits first-time buyers to return to their typical 40 per cent share.
Total housing inventory increased 1.6 per cent in February to 1.89 million existing homes. At the current sales rate, the February represents a 4.6-month supply, unchanged from January. NAR reported that 34 per cent of homes sold in February were on the market less than a month, compared to 30 per cent of homes sold in January, 31 per cent in December and 32 per cent in November.
The distressed sales share in February remained unchanged at 11 per cent for the third consecutive month, and was down from 16 per cent during the same month a year ago.
The February median sales price of US$202,600 was 7.5 per cent above the previous February, and represented the 36th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases. The median condominium/co-op price increased in February to US$190,200, the first increase after six consecutive months of decreases, and was up 2.8 per cent from February 2014.