After reaching a 10-year high in January, existing home sales fell 3.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million units in February, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Reuters reports that a shortage of available homes pushed up prices and forced out potential buyers. February was the 60th consecutive month of year-on-year price gains, and housing inventory has declined for 21 straight months on a yearly basis.
As of last month, the average house stayed on the market for 45 days (down from 59 days a year ago), and supply levels rose to 3.8 months, still short of the typical 6-month supply of a healthy market.
Though the number of homes on the market increased 4.2 percent to 1.75 million units last month, housing inventory remained near the all-time low of 1.65 million units hit in December. Supply was down 6.4 percent from a year ago.