Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

February 2021 Existing-Home Sales Annual Pace Falls to 6.22 Million

NAR released a summary of existing-home sales data showing that housing market activity this February fell 6.6% from January 2021. February's existing-home sales reached a 6.22 million seasonally adjusted annual rate. February's sales of existing-homes rose 9.1% from February 2020.

Line graph: U.S. Existing-Home Sales, February 2020 to February 2021

The national median existing-home price for all housing types rose to $313,000 in February, up 15.8% percent from a year ago. Home prices have continued to escalate, and this marks the 108th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

Bar chart: U.S. and Regional Median Sales Price of Existing-Home Sales, February 2021 and February 2020

Regionally, all four regions showed double digit price growth from a year ago. The West had the largest gain of 20.6%, followed by the Northeast with an increase of 20.5%. The Midwest showed an increase of 14.2%, and the South had the smallest price gain of 13.6% from February 2020.

There is plenty of demand but there are not enough homes to match as February's inventory figures were flat from last month standing at 1.03 million homes for sale. Compared with February of 2020, inventory levels dropped 29.5%. This would mark 21 straight months of year over year declines. It will take 2.0 months to move the current level of inventory at the current sales pace.

Potential home buyers are snatching listings quickly off the MLS and it takes approximately 20 days for a home to go from listing to a contract in the current housing market. A year ago, it took 36 days.

Bar chart: Inventory, February 2020 to February 2021

From January 2021, three of the four regions had declines in sales. Only the West had a gain of 4.6%. The South had a dip in sales of 6.1%, followed by the Northeast which fell of 11.5%. The West had the biggest drop in sales of 14.4%.

From a year ago, all four regions showed increases in sales. The Northeast region had the largest gain of 13.2%, followed by the West with an increase of 12.3%. The South had an increase in sales of 9.9%, followed by the Midwest with the smallest gain of 2.3%.

The South led all regions in percentage of national sales, accounting for 44.5% of the total, while the Northeast had the smallest share at 12.4%.

Bar chart: Regional Existing Home Sales and Year-Over-Year Percent Change, February 2021 and February 2020

In February, single-family sales were down 6.6% and condominiums sales were down 6.7% compared to last month. Single-family home sales were up 8.0% while condominium sales were up 18.6% compared to a year ago. The median sales price of single-family homes rose 16.2% at $317,100 from February 2020, while the median sales price of condominiums rose 12.3% at $280,500.

Line graph: Single-Family vs Condo Price Month-Over-Month Percent Change, January 2019 to February 2021
Line graph: Single-Family vs Condo Price Year-Over-Year Percent Change, January 2019 to February 2021

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