NAR: Existing-Home Sales Down 3.4% in April
The U.S. inventory of for-sale homes grew a bit: 7.2% month-to-month. But it’s still only a 2.9-months’ supply – below the amount economists consider “balanced.”
WASHINGTON – Existing-home sales decreased in April, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). All four major U.S. regions included in the report registered month-over-month and year-over-year sales declines.
Total existing-home sales – completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – slid 3.4% month-to-month for a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.28 million in April. Year-over-year, sales slumped 23.2%.
“Home sales are bouncing back and forth but remain above recent cyclical lows,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “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.”
Total housing inventory at the end of April was 1.04 million units, up 7.2% from March and 1.0% year-to-year. Unsold inventory sits at a 2.9-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 2.6 months in March and 2.2 months in April 2022.
The median existing-home price for all housing types in April was $388,800, a 1.7% decline from April 2022 ($395,500). Prices rose in the Northeast and Midwest but fell in the South and West.
“Roughly half of the country is experiencing price gains,” Yun says. “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.”
Properties typically remained on the market 22 days in April, down from 29 days in March but up from 17 days in April 2022. Three out of four (73%) homes sold in April were on the market for less than a month.
April market characteristics
- First-time buyers were almost one-third (29%) of the market in April, up from 28% in both March 2023 and April 2022.
- All-cash sales accounted for 28% of transactions in April, up from 27% in March and 26% the previous year.
- Individual investors or second-home buyers, who make up many cash sales, purchased 17% of homes in April, a percentage unchanged either month-to-month or year-to-year.
- Distressed sales – foreclosures and short sales – were 1% of sales in April, also unchanged month-to-month or year-to-year.
According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.35% as of May 11 – down from 6.39% the previous week but up from 5.30% one year ago.
Single-family and condo/co-op sales: Single-family home sales waned to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.85 million in April, down 3.5% from 3.99 million in March and 22.4% year-to-year.
The median existing single-family home price was $393,300 in April, down 2.1% from April 2022.
Existing condominium and co-op sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 430,000 units in April, down 2.3% from March and 29.5% year-to-year.
The median existing condo price was $348,000 in April, an annual increase of 0.7%.
Regional breakdown: Existing-home sales in the Northeast receded 1.9% from March to an annual rate of 510,000 in April, down 23.9% year-to-year. The median price in the Northeast was $422,700, up 2.8% from the previous year.
In the Midwest, existing-home sales declined 1.9% month-to-month to an annual rate of 1.02 million, and down 21.5% year-to-year. The median price in the Midwest was $287,300, up 1.8% from April 2022.
Existing-home sales in the South decreased 3.4% from March to an annual rate of 1.98 million in April, a 20.2% decline from one year ago. The median price in the South was $357,900, down 0.6% year-to-year.
In the West, existing-home sales slipped 6.1% from the previous month to an annual rate of 770,000 in April, down 31.3% year-to-year. The median price in the West was $578,200, down 8.0% year-to-year.
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