Sales of existing homes fell in April

Sales of existing homes fell 1.9% in April from March to 4.14 million units, on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis, according to the National Association of Realtors. The forecast was for a slight profit.

Sales also fell from April 2023, down 1.9% from last year.

These sales are based on closings, so contracts will likely be signed in February and March. Mortgage rates rose in early February and then stayed around 7% for the next two months before rising further in April.

“When we look at these mortgage rates, which represent a 300 basis point increase from the pre-Covid pace, we are in new territory in terms of how the lockdown effect will restrict home sales,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at Realtors. .

Total housing inventory at the end of April was 1.21 million units, up 9% month over month and 16% more than a year ago, but still only 3.5 months' supply at the sales pace. current. A six-month supply is considered balanced between buyer and seller. However, the supply of homes priced over $1 million increased 34% year over year, which is why that segment of the market is the most active.

Sales of homes priced under $100,000 fell 7.1% year over year, while sales of those priced above $1 million rose 40%.

Shortage of supply kept prices under pressure. The median price of an existing home sold in April was $407,600, an increase of 5.7% year over year. This is another record price for April. With multiple offers, due to strong demand, 27% of homes sold above list price.

“The fact that home prices hit a record high in April is very good news for homeowners,” Yun said. “However, the pace of price increases should slow as more housing inventory becomes available.”

First-time buyers returned slightly and accounted for 33% of April sales, up from 29% a year earlier. The total proportion of cash remained relatively high, at 28% of all transactions.

Regionally, sales in the Northeast fell 4% from March and 4% from April 2023. The median price in the Northeast was $458,500, an 8.5% year-over-year increase.

In the Midwest, sales fell 1% month over month and also 1% year over year. The median price in the Midwest was $303,600, up 6% from April 2023.

Sales in the South fell 1.6% compared to March and 3.1% compared to the previous year. The median price in the South was $366,200, up 3.7% from last year.

And in the West, sales fell 2.6% in the month and increased 1.3% compared to the previous year. The average price in the West was $629,600, 9.3% more than in April 2023.

Correction: The supply of homes priced more than $1 million increased 34% year over year. An earlier version incorrectly indicated the percentage.

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