Existing home sales fall in all four major U.S. regions in April

WASHINGTON — The National Assn. of Realtors is reporting that existing home sales — including completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops — decreased 1.9% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.14 million and decreased 1.9% from one year ago. NAR noted that all four major U.S. regions posted month-over-month declines and year-over-year sales decreased in the Northeast, Midwest and South while increasing in the West.

“Home sales changed little overall, but the upper-end market is experiencing a sizable gain due to more supply coming onto the market,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

NAR reported that the median existing-home sales price grew 5.7% from April 2023 to $407,600 from $385,800, the 10th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains and the highest price ever recorded for the month of April. For homes priced $1 million or more, inventory and sales increased by 34% and 40%, respectively, from a year ago. The inventory of unsold existing homes rose 9% from one month ago to 1.21 million at the end of April, the equivalent of 3.5 months’ supply at the current monthly sales pace, NAR said.

“Home prices reaching a record high for the month of April is very good news for homeowners,” Yun added. “However, the pace of price increases should taper off since more housing inventory is becoming available.”

According to the monthly Realtors Confidence Index, properties typically remained on the market for 26 days in April, down from 33 days in March. First-time buyers represented 33% of sales in April, up from 32% in March and 29% in April 2023. NAR’s 2023 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found that the annual share of first-time buyers was 32%.

All-cash sales represented 28% of transactions in April, and individual investors or second-home buyers purchased 16% of homes in April, up from 15% in March.

Distressed sales including foreclosures and short sales accounted for 2% of sales in April, nearly the same percentage as March and the prior year.

Freddie Mac reports that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 7.02% as of May 16, a decrease from 7.09% the prior week, but an increase from 6.39% one year ago.

The median price in the Northeast was $458,500, up 8.5% from the previous year, while the median price in the Midwest was $303,600, up 6% from April 2023. In the South, the median price was $366,200, up 3.7% from last year, and the median price in the West was $629,600, up 9.3% from April 2023.

See also:

  • New home sales climb in March but it’s because existing homes aren’t selling 
  • No sale: Consumers’ ideal mortgage rate may not come this year, survey says

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