Existing-home sales fell 5.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.53 million units in March from an upwardly revised pace of 5.86 million units in February. Last month's sales activity was 2 percent above the 5.42-million unit level in March 2002, and was the 11th best month on record.
The national median existing-home price was $163,100 in March, up 6.5 percent from March 2002 when the median price was $153,200. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less.
Housing inventory levels at the end of March rose 7.4 percent from February to a total of 2.31 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 5-month supply at the current sales pace.
Regionally, the existing-home sales pace in the South declined 4.3 percent in March to an annual rate of 2.22 million units, but was 5.2 percent above a year ago. The median price of an existing home in the South was $152,700, which was 6.3 percent higher than March 2002.
Existing homes in the Midwest were selling at an annual rate of 1.22 million units in March, down 5.4 percent from February, however, the pace was 1.7 percent above March 2002. The median price in the Midwest was $137,400, up 5.9 percent from the same month a year earlier.
Home resales in the West fell 7.0 percent in March to an annual rate of 1.46 million units, and were 1.4 percent below a year ago. The median existing-home price in the West was $219,700, up 5.9 percent from March 2002.
Existing-home sales in the Northeast dropped 7.4 percent from February to a pace of 630,000 units in March; the rate was 1.6 percent below March 2002.
The median existing-home price in the Northeast was $178,100, up 14.4 percent from a year ago.