Existing home sales in the U.S. unexpectedly saw a continued decrease in the month of April, according to a report released by the National Association of Realtors on Friday.
NAR said existing home sales tumbled by 2.7 percent to an annual rate of 5.85 million in April after plunging by 3.7 percent to a rate of 6.01 million in March. The slump surprised economists, who had expected existing home sales to surge up by 2.0 percent.
Existing home sales declined for the third straight month but were still up by 33.9 percent compared to the same month a year ago.
“Home sales were down again in April from the prior month, as housing supply continues to fall short of demand,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “We’ll see more inventory come to the market later this year as further COVID-19 vaccinations are administered and potential home sellers become more comfortable listing and showing their homes.”
“Despite the decline, housing demand is still strong compared to one year ago, evidenced by home sales from this January to April, which are up 20% compared to 2020,” he added. “The additional supply projected for the market should cool down the torrid pace of price appreciation later in the year.”
The report said the median existing home price for all housing types in April was $341,600, up 19.1 percent from $286,800 in April of 2020.
Total housing inventory at the end of April amounted to 1.16 million units, up 10.5 percent from March’s 1.05 million but down 20.5 percent from 1.46 million a year ago.
The unsold inventory represents 2.4 months of supply at the current sales pace, up from March’s 2.1 months of supply but down from 4.0 months of supply recorded in April of 2020.
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