US home sales fall for first time in two months as housing market tightens
– The housing market in the U.S. was one of the weakest performers in the year-earlier period, according to the latest data from the Census Bureau.
The Bureau said its weekly sales data, which is based on responses from about 4 million households, showed an average of 5.1 million homes were sold in the first quarter of this year.
That compares with an average 6.7 million sales a week in the previous quarter.
The decline in sales comes as the country’s housing market continues to deteriorate and is expected to remain weak until the spring.
The bureau also said it expected prices to fall as homeownership declines, while rents continue to rise.
The median price for a single-family home was $3,000 in the third quarter, down $400 from a year ago.
That’s the lowest level since April 2016.
Rents are rising, but prices remain below the levels of a decade ago.
The median monthly rent is now $2,898.
The economy continues to tighten, with the unemployment rate at 6.5% and a contraction in home sales reported in the fourth quarter.
Homeownership in the United States has been on the decline for two years, but the Census said the country continues to see a sharp drop in the number of households owning a home.