WASHINGTON – Americans retreated from buying homes in February, a pullback after sales in January had surged to the fastest pace in a decade.
Sales of existing homes fell 3.7 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million, according to the National Association of Realtors. But over the past year, sales have risen 5.4 percent.
Despite the resilient demand, buyers have fewer choices. The supply of homes on the market has fallen 6.4 percent over the past year to 1.75 million properties, a figure only slightly higher than in January when listings were at an all-time low.
The median sales prices has risen 7.7 percent from a year ago to $228,400, more than double the pace of average wage gains.