Existing-home sales are back on track following a down start to 2019. Sales in February recorded their best month-over-month gain since December 2015, states the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Total existing-home sales were up 11.8% from January.
"A powerful combination of lower mortgage rates, more inventory, rising income and higher consumer confidence is driving the sales rebound," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in a release. The annual rate is 5.51 million, down roughly 2% from a year ago.
The median price was up 3.6% in February to nearly $250,000, which is the 84th consecutive month of year-over-year gains in that category. Housing inventory was also up more than 3% from a year ago, while unsold inventory was down from January. "It is very welcoming to see more inventory showing up in the market," said Yun.
Properties were also on the market for less time in February (44 days instead of 49 days). More than two-fifths of homes were on the market for less than a month.
Sales in the Midwest, West and South increased from month to month, while the Northeast region remained the same in February. Existing-home sales in the West shot up 16%, and sales in the South jumped almost 15%.
-Michael Miller, managing editor