Existing-Home Sales Dipped Again In April

Existing-home sales dipped in April as high interest rates and low inventory continued to negatively impact the market.

Sales declined by 3.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.28 million from 4.44 million the month prior, according to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors.

Year-over-year, sales are down 23.2%.

All four major regions saw sales decline year-over-year and month-over-month.

“Home sales are bouncing back and forth but remain above recent cyclical lows. The combination of job gains, limited inventory, and fluctuating mortgage rates over the last several months have created an environment of push-pull housing demand,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

“Roughly half of the country is experiencing price gains. Even in markets with lower prices, primarily the expensive West region, multiple-offer situations have returned in the spring buying season following the calmer winter market. Distressed and forced property sales are virtually nonexistent.”

The median price for an existing home slid YOY alongside rates, down 1.7% to $388,800, NAR found.

This is just the third YOY decline in years. February’s dip broke the longest streak on record, 131 consecutive months of price gains.

Affordability-minded buyers have been waiting on the sidelines for rates and home prices to deflate, but they’re not likely to see easing any time soon. Stock shortages are expected to keep prices elevated, especially for starter and lower-priced homes, while the most expensive homes on the market see price declines.

“As long as you have the law of supply and demand, there’s nothing really to depress prices,” John Rice, chief statistician for the Seacoast Board of Realtors, told the New Hampshire Union Leader. “The ceiling hasn’t been reached, and who knows where that is.”

April’s inventory of unsold homes rose by 7.2% from March to 1.04 million. This is a 2.9-month supply at the current sales pace, an improvement.

The typical home stayed on the market for 22 days in April, down from 29 in March, while 73% of homes sold were on the market for less than a month.

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