WASHINGTON — Existing home sales fell 2.6% in March to a seasonally adjusted 4.48 million-unit rate, after an upwardly revised 4.60 million rate in February, originally reported as 4.59 million units, the National Association of Realtors announced Thursday.

Economists predicted 4.62 million sales.

Inventory levels declined 1.3% to 2.37 million existing homes, representing a 6.3-month supply at the current pace, unchanged from last month’s report.

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said that despite the two consecutive months of decline, the year still holds the promise of being the strongest in a long time because first-quarter sales were the strongest since 2007.

“If we could hold at this level, it would represent the highest annual sales activity in five years,” Yun said. Indicators suggest the pace seems to be “very sustainable.”

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