The figure in January was 5.1 percent.
Sales of previously owned U.S. homes fell in January to its lowest level in 18 months, according to data released Friday by the U.S. National Association of Realtors (NAR).
The resale of homes fell 5.1% in relation to December, to 4.62 million units on an annualized basis, when analysts expected a smaller decline, 4.7 million transactions, against 4.87 million in December, details Agence France Press.
Meanwhile, Efe indicates that sales have declined since the middle of last year, hurt by low inventory and reduced affordability of mortgage loans, which were added in January unusual winter conditions.
NAR chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said that “the difficult and prolonged winter conditions throughout the country affect a wide range of economic activities and housing is no exception.”
Effects caused by climate
“It is possible that some of the activity in the real estate business has been postponed until the spring,” he added. “While we cannot ignore the difficulties currently have the tightening of credit, limited inventory, higher prices and higher rates of mortgage interest.”
The average price of existing homes in January was $ 188.900, 10.7 percent higher than a year earlier.
Last month was on the market for sale of used 1.9 million homes, enough to 4.9 months in January sales pace.
Most analysts, given the adverse weather conditions in January, had estimated an annual rate of construction of 945,000 units, compared with 1.05 million reached in December.
With repeated winter storms that affected most of the country, the pace of housing construction declined in three of the four regions, with a decrease of 66 percent in the Midwest, 17% in the West and 13 percent in the South.