Contracts to buy previously owned homes declined 1.9% in February, according to the National Association of Realtors’ index, which fell to its lowest levels since its creation in 2001. The drop was nearly double the 1% decline analysts predicted, reports Bloomberg, and sent stocks tumbling further.
“Looking for a bottom in housing is a little premature,” said one economist. “Prices are likely to come down, and we expect that to continue for some time.” The South was hardest hit, with a 5.5% drop, while the Northeast actually saw a 3.2% increase and the West improved 2.1%. Inventories are at a 9-month supply.