US Home Sales Plummeted 8.5% in March

Stray Black And White Cat Sleeping On Porch Sidewalk Street In New Orleans, Louisiana By House Home Entrance Steps

BALTIMORE (AP) — U.S. sales of existing homes cratered 8.5% in March with real estate activity stalled by the coronavirus outbreak.

The National Association of Realtors said Tuesday that 5.27 million homes sold last month, down from 5.76 million in February. The decrease was the steepest since November 2015.

Home-buying had been steady for the first half of March because of low mortgage rates and the finalization of contracts signed in prior months, only to collapse in response to COVID-19 burying the economy in a recession. Sales in March were still 0.8% higher from a year ago, when mortgage rates were higher than now.

The number of homes for sale in March plunged 10.2% from a year ago to 1.5 million properties.

The national median sales price jumped 8% over 12 months to $280,600.


By AP reporter Josh Boak


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