NAR: Housing inventory increased slightly in April, but still can’t keep up

by Lauren Clohessy

Existing-home sales dropped in April, despite the increase the market saw in the last two months, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Existing-home sales include single-family home, townhome, condominium and co-op transactions. The sales dropped 2.5 percent in April compared to last month. The seasonally adjusted rate decreased from 5.60 million in March to 5.46 million in April.

As a result of April’s decline, sales are 1.4 percent below last year and dropped year-over-year for two months.

“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,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “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.”

Despite the total housing inventory increasing by 9.8 percent compared to March to 1.80 million by the end of April, the total inventory is 6.3 percent lower than April a year ago. The median housing price rose in April to $257,9000. The price is 5.3 percent higher than it was in April 2017.

In April, properties stayed on the market for 26 days, which is 4 days less than March. The unsold inventory is currently at a 4.0 month supply pace.

Below are more trends from April:

  • First-time buyers made up 30 percent of sales in April, which is the highest since July. Although, first-time buyer sales are still down 34 percent from a year ago.
  • All-case sales made up 21 percent of April’s transactions, rising 20 percent from March.
  • Foreclosure sales made up 3 percent of April’s sales.
  • Short sales made up 0.5 percent of April’s sales.
  • Single-family home sales made up 4.84 million in April, dropping 3 percent from March’s seasonally adjusted rate of 4.99 million.
  • Existing condominium and co-op sales made increased 1.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 650,000.