- Thomson Reuters
Existing home sales rose 1.7% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.45 million in April, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Homebuying rose for a second straight month despite lofty prices and low inventory, although the biggest gains were recorded in the affordable Midwest region, according to NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.
In March, sales rose by an upwardly revised 5.7%, at a rate of 5.36 million.
Economists had forecast that sales of existing condos, co-ops and single-family homes slowed to 1.3% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.4 million, according to Bloomberg.
“Except for in the West – where supply shortages and stark price growth are hampering buyers the most – sales are meaningfully higher than a year ago in much of the country,” said Yun, who expects entry-level and mid-priced homes to remain competitive through the summer.
Low mortgage rates supported sales in April. But “low inventory of homes for sale continues to dampen homebuyers’ ability to find properties in the face of solid job and wage growth,” according to Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia’s chief economist.
The two biggest trends in the housing market – rising prices and low inventory – persist. The median price for an existing home in April was $232,500, up 6.3% year-on-year. That was the 50th straight month that home prices rose year-on-year.
And, total housing inventory increased 9.2% to 2.14 million existing homes for sale on the market. But that’s still down almost 4% from last April.
“The good news is we’ve actually seen the number of new listings coming onto the market this year rise rather significantly from last year,” Budge Huskey, Coldwell Banker Real Estate CEO, told Business Insider.
“It’s just that whenever they come on the market, they’re selling quickly cause the demand is there.”