Is the U.S. housing market starting to stagnate?

Opportunity still abounds in the U.S. real estate market with home sales up and continued price growth, but one economist says the market is starting to stagnate.

“Insufficient supply appears to be hampering prospective buyers in several areas of the country and is hiking prices to near unsuitable levels,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors.

“Stronger price growth is a boon for homeowners looking to build additional equity, but it continues to be an obstacle for current buyers looking to close before rates rise.”

A new report by NAR showed that existing homes sale rose 1.2 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million in February from 4.82 million in January.

Sales were 4.7 percent higher than a year ago and above year-over-year totals for the fifth consecutive month.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in February was $202,600, which is 7.5 percent above February 2014. This marks the 36th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains.

“Severe below-freezing winter weather likely had an impact on sales as more moderate activity was observed in the Northeast and Midwest compared to other regions of the country," added Yun.

Total housing inventory at the end of February increased 1.6 percent to 1.89 million existing homes available for sale, but remains 0.5 percent below a year ago (1.90 million).
 


 

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