FLASH: US home sales spiked in February to their highest mark in 11 months, a sign that the Fed’s halt in interest rate hikes is starting to boost the US economy.
The National Association of Realtors said on Friday existing home sales rose 11.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.51-M units last month.
That was the highest mark since March 2018 and well above analysts’ expectations of a rate of 5.1-M units. The 1-month percentage change was the largest since December 2015. January’s sales pace was revised slightly lower.
“It is quite a powerful recovery that is taking place,” said the chief economist with the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
The US housing market has also been held back by land and labor shortages, which have led to tight inventory and more expensive homes.
The PHLX Housing Index extended losses following the release of the figures although its decline was less steep than the broader stock market.
The median existing house price increased 3.6% from a year ago to $249,500 in February.
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