U.S. home resales fell more than expected in February amid a persistent shortage of houses on the market that is pushing up prices and sidelining potential buyers. Fred Katayama reports.
U.S. home resales fell more than expected in February, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. The number dropped 3.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million units last month, There is not enough houses on the market, and that is pushing up prices and sidelining potential buyers. Trulia's chief economist Ralph McLaughlin. (SOUNDBITE) RALPH MCLAUGHLIN, CHIEF ECONOMIST, TRULIA, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We need more homes to come onto the market. And what we're seeing is that fewer homes are coming onto the market, and this is very different from previous recoveries in the past. As prices rise, as the economy recovers, we see inventory increase. This recovery, we're seeing the opposite. Demand is increasing, prices are rising, but inventory is falling. So, the main takeaway here is that, though home sales are fairly healthy, they still have a long way to go before they hit the long term average." Another factor influencing the housing market - home loans could get more expensive after the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates last week. The U.S. central bank has forecast two more rate increases for 2017.