Monthly Home Sales Rise 230,000 In February 2009

The median sales price is down since Feb 2008 but it may not be a relevant statisticEach month, the National Association of REALTORS® releases a study called the Existing Home Sales report.  It’s a detailed look at “used” home sale data from all four regions of the country.

Among the key findings of each Existing Home Sales report is something called the “median sales price”, the statistical price point at which half of the homes in the U.S. sold for more, and half sold for less. 

Last month, the median sales price in the United States fell to $165,400, down 15.5 percent from a year ago.

Nevertheless, just because the median sales price is lower from last year doesn’t mean that the housing market is losing steam. The median sales price is just the middle point of all home sales in all U.S. markets.  By definition, it groups New York City and Danville, Illinois; Los Angeles and Cheyenne — markets that have little do with one another. 

When median sales prices are falling, it doesn’t point to housing weakness, per se — just that more homes are selling at the lower end of the pricing spectrum than at the higher end.

Going forward, it’s believed that a reduction in home supplies is the key to a complete, national housing recovery.  It’s encouraging, therefore, in a month known for a high volume of new listings, that the number of homes sold kept pace with the number of new homes available for sale. 

The current housing inventory stands at 9.7 months, flat from January.

(Image courtesy: The Wall Street Journal)