By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER
AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home sales jumped in February to their highest level in 13 years, a trend that will almost certainly be reversed as people stop showing their property out of fear of infection in the coronavirus outbreak.
The National Association of Realtors said Friday that home sales jumped 6.5% in February from the previous month, to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 5.77 million. The report covers contracts that were signed in December and January, with closings in February. The first reports of infections in China occurred on January 31.
At that time, conditions in the housing market were almost ideal, with hiring strong, wages rising, consumer confidence near a peak, and the stock market at a record high. Since then, the economy has come to a grinding halt and possibly millions of people have lost their jobs, likely pushing down home sales in the coming months.