WASHINGTON, April 22 U.S. home resales edged
downward in March, a pause in the housing market recovery that
has helped boost the economy.
The National Association of Realtors said on Monday that
existing home sales edged down 0.6 percent last month to a
seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.92 million units.
Economist polled by Reuters had expected home resales to
rise to a 5.01 million-unit rate.
The nation's inventory of existing homes for sale rose 1.6
percent during the month to 1.93 million. That represented 4.7
month's supply at March's sales pace, up from 4.6 in February.
More homes are expected to go on the market next month ahead
of the summer buying season, said NAR economist Lawrence Yun.
Nationwide, the median price for a home resale rose to
$184,300 in March, up 11.8 percent from a year earlier, the
biggest increase since November 2005. The limited supply of
available properties is pushing up home values.
The share of distressed sales, which also include those
where the sales price was below the amount owed on the home,
accounted for 21 percent of home resales last month, down from
25 percent a month earlier. It was the lowest since the NAR
began tracking the number in October 2008 as the foreclosure