Behind February’s Meaningful Sales Decline

Existing-home sales disappointed last month, declining 7.1 percent with considerable decreases in all four major regions of the country.

Despite last month’s fall, sales were still up 2.2 percent from February 2015. However, as Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, pointed out during this morning’s press conference, there pretty much wasn’t year-over-year increase considering this year’s extra day in February (hello leap year).

Could the significant drop in sales be the warning sign of more to come? Yun attributed a big part of the pullback to the same headwinds that have hampered the housing market on-and-off since early last fall: prices rising too fast, stock market volatility hurting consumer psyche and insufficient supply levels.

Yun also noted this morning what appears to be a reverse phenomenon of what happened during the boom years of the early-2000’s. Instead of rising prices encouraging more households to buy, it appears there’s some hesitation among consumers right now to enter the market amidst steady price growth.

What else did today’s release reveal about housing activity in February? Check out the charts below: