Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

NAR released a summary of existing-home sales data showing that housing market activity this March fell 8.5% from February 2020. March’s sales of existing homes rose modestly at 0.8 % from March 2019. March’s existing-home sales reached a 5.27 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, the lowest since April 2019.

Line graph: U.S. Existing-Home Sales March 2019 to March 2020

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $280,600 in March, up 8.0% from a year ago. This marks the 97th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

Bar chart: Sales Price of EHS by Region March 2020 and March 2019

Regionally, all four regions showed strong price growth from a year ago. The Midwest had the largest gain of 9.7% followed by the Northeast with an incline of 8.3%. The West showed price gains of 8.0% and the South had an increase of 7.9% from March 2020.

March’s inventory figures were up 2.7% from last month standing at 1.50 million homes for sale. Compared with March of 2020, inventory levels dropped 10.2%. This would mark ten straight months of year-over-year declines. It will take 3.4 months to move the current level of inventory at the current sales pace. It takes approximately 29 days for a home to go from listing to a contract in the current housing market, down from 36 days a year ago.

Bar chart: Inventory March 2019 to March 2020

From February 2020, all four regions showed declines in sales. The West had the largest dip of 13.6% followed by the South with a decline of 9.1%. The Northeast region fell 7.1% and the Midwest had the smallest drop in sales of 3.1%.

From a year ago, two of the four regions showed inclines in sales. The Midwest had the biggest incline in sales of 4.2% followed by the South with a modest gain of 0.9%. The West had a decline of 0.9% followed by the Northeast with the biggest drop in sales of 3.0%.

The South led all regions in percentage of national sales, accounting for 43.5% of the total, while the Northeast had the smallest share at 12.3%.

Bar chart: Regional Sales March 2020 and March 2019

In March, single-family sales were down 8.1% and condominiums sales were down 11.7% compared to last month. Single-family home sales were up 1.3% while condominium sales were down 3.6% compared to a year ago. Single-family homes had an increase in price up 8.1% at $282,500 and condominiums rose 7.9% at $263,400 from March 2020.

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