Severe weather and consumer reluctance to spend money combined to cause a 0.6% decline in existing home sales last month, the National Association of Realtors, reported today.
Sales were at seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.02 million units, which represented a 7% increase over February 2009.
Existing home sales rose from their January levels in the Northeast and Midwest by 2.4% and 2.8%, respectively. They fell in the South and West by 1.1% and 4.7%, respectively.
Compared with February 2009, existing home sales increased in the Northeast, Midwest, South and West by 12%, 8.8%, 6.9% and 3.4%, respectively.
Total housing inventory rose 9.5% to 3.59 million units available for sale.
The national median existing home price was $165,000, a 1.8% drop from February 2009.
The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 4.99%, compared with 5.03% in January and 5.13% in February 2009.