US home sales jumped in February as mortgage rates fell

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes jumped in February at the fastest pace in six months as buyers took advantage of a slight drop in mortgage rates. The country’s median price also fell slightly, its first annual decline since 2012.

Sales of existing homes jumped 14.5% last month from January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.58 million, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. That’s the fastest selling pace since September and higher than 4.2 million economists expected, according to FactSet.

The surge in sales – the largest on record since 1999 – ended a 12-month slump that plunged the country’s housing market into its deepest slump in nearly a decade and left January sales at slowest pace in over a dozen years.

Still, sales fell 22.6% last month from February last year, a sign that many potential buyers are staying out of the market after years of rising prices and significantly higher mortgage rates than ever before. one year ago.

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