ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — U.S. home sales fell in January, but the constraint from tight supply could ease as building permits and the number of homes under construction at levels last seen nearly 13 years ago, multiple news outlets including Reuters, Yahoo and CNBC reported Friday.
The National Association of Realtors said existing home sales declined 1.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million units last month. December’s sales pace was revised down to 5.53 million units from the previously reported 5.54 million units.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast existing home sales falling 1.8% to a rate of 5.43 million units in January. Last month, existing home sales were unchanged in the Northeast and rose in the Midwest and the populous South. But sales tumbled in the West, the country’s most expensive region.
Existing home sales, which make up about 90% of U.S. home sales, surged 9.6% on a year-on-year basis in January.
The government reported on Wednesday that permits for future home construction jumped 9.2% in January to the highest level since March 2007. The inventory of homes under construction in January was the highest since February 2007.