U.S. Existing Home Sales Rise

Existing home sales rose in the U.S. in January, marking two consecutive months of growth, says the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Total existing home sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops, increased 0.6 per cent from December to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.69 million in January. Sales in total climbed year-over-year, up 23.7 per cent from a year ago (5.41 million in January 2020). "Home sales continue to ascend in the first month of the year, as buyers quickly snatched up virtually every new listing coming on the market," says Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. "Sales easily could have been even 20 per cent higher if there had been more inventory and more choices." He expects more jobs to return, which will spur homebuying in the coming months with existing home sales reaching at least 6.5 million in 2021, even as mortgage rates are likely to inch higher due to the rising budget deficit and higher inflation.