Flat is the new up as home sales tread water

McClatchy Washington BureauApril 22, 2014 

US NEWS ECONOMY-HOUSING 4 CH

Construction crews build new homes in Waxhaw, North Carolina in 2013.

T. ORTEGA GAINES — Charlotte Observer/MCT

— Sales of existing homes nationwide were flat in March, the National Association of Realtors reported Friday, adding that home prices continued rising at a moderate pace last month.

Total existing-home sales dipped 0.2 percent in March compared to a month earlier, to an annualized rate of 4.59 million. That’s about 7.5 percent above the pace of March 2013 and sales volume was the lowest it’s been since July 2012. Sales of single-family homes dipped 7.3 percent compared to the pace of March 2013.

“There really should be stronger levels of home sales given our population growth,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the realtors group, said in a statement.

On the price front, the midpoint existing home price was $198,500 in March, up 7.9 percent from the same month of 2013. Midpoint prices for homes sold in March compared to a year earlier rose by 3.2 percent in the Northeast, 6.7 percent in the South, 5.9 percent in the Midwest and 12.6 percent in the West.

Email: khall@mcclatchydc.com; Twitter: @KevinGHall.

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