Existing Home Sales Surged in February, Recording First Gain in 13 Months

The 14.5% gain from January was the largest monthly percentage increase since July of 2020

Home for sale

Justin Sullivan / Staff / Getty Images

Sales of previously owned homes rose in February for the first time in over a year, as home prices fell on an annual basis for the first time in nearly 11 years.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported existing home sales jumped 14.5% from January to an annual rate of 4.58 million. It was the largest monthly percentage increase since July of 2020.

The rise in sales came as the median sales price for a single-family home dropped 0.2% from 2022 to $363,000, breaking a streak of 131 consecutive months of year-over-year gains. Also helping boost demand was a decrease in borrowing costs. Mortgage originator Freddie Mac indicated the rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate conforming home loan (up to $726,200) fell to the lowest level in five months in February.

U.S. Existing Home Sales (Feb. 2020 - Feb. 2023)


Buyers Attuned to Rates

"Home buyers are conscious of changing mortgage rates and taking advantage of any moves downward," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. He added that sales growth has been stronger "in areas where home prices are decreasing and the local economies are adding jobs."

Yun explained total housing inventory at the end of the month held steady from January at 980,000 units, remaining near historic lows. He said because of that, "multiple offers are returning on a good number of properties."

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. National Association of Realtors. "Existing Home Sales Surged 14.5% in February, Ending 12-Month Streak of Declines."

Take the Next Step to Invest
The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where listings appear. Investopedia does not include all offers available in the marketplace.