WASHINGTON — Existing home sales tumbled 9.6% to a seasonally adjusted 4.88 million in February as the median sale price fell to its lowest level in almost nine years, the National Association of Realtors reported Monday.
January’s existing home sales figure was revised higher to 5.40 million from 5.36 million. February’s median home sales price dropped to $156,100, the lowest level since April 2002.
Economists polled by Thomson Reuters expected 5.15 million sales, according to the median estimate.
The February data represents closings on deals negotiated during severe winter storms in January and December. NAR’s chief economist Lawrence Yun said a “weather-related impact” on sales was likely, but “continuing credit inaccessibility” also weighed on sales.
All-cash transactions for existing home sales increased to 33% of all transactions, the highest level on record for NAR data that go back to August 2008, Yun said. The figure is another example of the limited credit availability to buyers, he said.