Sales Of Existing Homes Slip As Inventories Tighten

NPR icon by Mark Memmott
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Justin Sullivan

There was a 0.6 percent dip in sales of existing homes in March from February, the National Association of Realtors reports, because the supply of homes for sale has tightened as the number of would-be buyers is on the rise.

Its data suggest that sales ran at a 4.92 million annual rate, down from a 4.95 million pace the month before.

According to a statement from NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun, "buyer traffic is 25 percent above a year ago when we were already seeing notable gains in shopping activity." But, he adds, "in the same timeframe housing inventories have trended much lower, which is continuing to pressure home prices."

David Sloan, an economist at 4Cast Inc., tells Bloomberg News that "housing will remain a positive for the economy, but there should be some slowing in the next few months. The slowing is temporary. There is a shortage of supply. The housing market will revive."

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