Existing home sales across the U.S. grew 0.8 percent in February over the previous month, pushing them to the highest level since November 2009, according to National Association of Realtors data cited by the Wall Street Journal.
The slight increase raised the seasonally adjusted annual rate to 4.98 million — 10.2 percent higher than in February 2012 — for the 20th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.
The nation’s inventory also increased to 1.94 million, a 9.6 percent increase from January. And while the huge inventory of homes on the market following the recession had been a drag on the market, the increased inventory is likely coming from homeowners taking advantage of higher home prices, according to the Journal.
“Now that you’ve had a year of price gains, some uptick in the level of inventory would reflect a better housing market. In some sense it’s a positive sign,” Michael Gapen, an economist at Barclays, said. [WSJ] –Christopher Cameron