The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported a minor decline in existing-home sales in April, continuing March’s drop in sales, as total existing home sales fell 0.4% from March to an adjusted rate of 5.19 million in April.
Total sales are down 4.4% year-over-year and two of the four major U.S. regions saw a slight dip in sales.
The NAR stated the average existing-home price for all housing types in April increased 3.6% from 2018 to $267,300. April’s increase was the 86th-consecutive month of annual gains.
“First, we are seeing historically low mortgage rates combined with a pent-up demand to buy, so buyers will look to take advantage of these conditions,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist said. “Also, job creation is improving, causing wage growth to align with home price growth, which helps affordability and will help spur more home sales.”
April did see an increase in total housing inventory, rising to 1.83 million from 1.67 million in March, which is a 1.7% increase year-over-year. Unsold inventory is at a 4.2-month supply, which is up from 3.8 months in March.
“We see that the inventory totals have steadily improved, and will provide more choices for those looking to buy a home,” Yun said.
A recent report by CoreLogic found that while increasing, home inventory numbers continue to be at historic lows.
CoreLogic’s report stated that inventory of homes for sale increased in March with 4.5 months’ supply of homes, which is historically one of the lowest numbers recorded.
Although March’s figure is an increase year-over-year from March 2018’s 3.5 months of inventory, it was less than half of what it was 10 years ago—9.1 months of inventory.
“Not only is new construction and mobility--two traditional drivers of inventory--at low levels, but some potential inventory shifted to the rental market over the past ten years,” the CoreLogic report states.
In relation to the NAR report, Yun said that sellers have to realize that price growth has moderated.
“When placing their home on the market, home sellers need to be very realistic and aware of the current conditions.”
The time properties remained on the market dropped to an average of 24 days from 36 days in March. Of the homes sold in April, 53% of them were on the market less than a month.