Economy

Sales Of Existing Homes Slip As Inventories Tighten

A sale-pending sign is posted in front of a home last month in San Anselmo, Calif. i i

A sale-pending sign is posted in front of a home last month in San Anselmo, Calif. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
A sale-pending sign is posted in front of a home last month in San Anselmo, Calif.

A sale-pending sign is posted in front of a home last month in San Anselmo, Calif.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

There was a 0.6 percent dip in sales of existing homes in March from February, the National Association of Realtors reports, because the supply of homes for sale has tightened as the number of would-be buyers rises.

Its data suggest that sales ran at a 4.92 million annual rate last month, falling from a "downwardly revised" pace of 4.95 million the month before.

According to a statement from NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun, "buyer traffic is 25 percent above a year ago when we were already seeing notable gains in shopping activity." But "in the same timeframe," he adds, "housing inventories have trended much lower, which is continuing to pressure home prices."

David Sloan, an economist at 4Cast Inc., tells Bloomberg News that "housing will remain a positive for the economy, but there should be some slowing in the next few months. The slowing is temporary. There is a shortage of supply. The housing market will revive."

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