In the face of global economic uncertainty and rockiness in the stock market, existing-home sales nudged forward (0.4 percent) in January to the highest annual rate (5.47 million) since last July (5.48 million) as buyers for the most part were able to overcome scant supply levels and steady competition.
However, the story of the day was on the topic of affordability. With home prices accelerating to 8.2 percent growth (YoY), having the financial wherewithal to buy remains a stumbling block for buyers in several high-priced markets.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, put it best during this morning’s live press conference. “Home prices continue to rise at unhealthy levels far above the pace of household income and wages,” he said. “The solution is simple: more new home construction is needed to slow price appreciation.”
What were the other key findings from today’s report? Read the news release and check out the charts below: