Existing-home sales decreased 2.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million in April, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This followed two consecutive monthly increases. Sales are still 1.2% below the April 2017 level.
“The root cause of the underperforming sales activity in much of the country so far this year continues to be the utter lack of available listings on the market to meet the strong demand for buying a home,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Realtors® say the healthy economy and job market are keeping buyers in the market for now even as they face rising mortgage rates. However, inventory shortages are even worse than in recent years, and home prices keep climbing above what many home shoppers are able to afford.”
The total housing inventory rose 9.8% to 1.80 million homes available for sale, 6.3% lower than last April and the 35th consecutive month of year-over-year decline. The median existing home price was $257,900, up 5.3% from April 2017 ($245,000). This marks the 74th straight month of year-over-year gains.
Distressed sales were 3.5% of the total, down from 4.0% last month and down 2.0% from a year ago. Three percent of sales were foreclosures, and 0.5% were short sales.
Read the NAR release.