April Marks 86th Straight Month for Year-Over-Year Gains in Median Existing-Home Price
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said existing home sales declined slightly by 0.4% in April, missing the forecast for a sharp rise. Two of the 4 major U.S. regions posted a slight decline, while the West saw growth and the Midwest was essentially unchanged.
|Prior||Consensus Forecast||Forecast Range||Actual|
|Existing Home Sales – SAAR||5.21 M||5.35 M||5.25 M – 5.40 M||5.19 M|
|Existing Home Sales -M/M ∆||-4.9%||0.4%|
|Existing Home Sales -Y/Y ∆||-5.4%||-4.9%|
Total existing-home sales — completed transactions including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops — eased back 0.4% from March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.19 million in April. Total sales are down 4.4% from a year ago (5.43 million in April 2018).
The consensus forecast was looking for a gain to 5.35 million.
“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.”
The median existing-home price was $267,300 in April, up 3.6% from April 2018 ($257,900). April’s price increase marks the 86th straight month of year-over-year gains.
Total housing inventory at the end of April increased to 1.83 million, up from 1.67 million existing homes available for sale in March and a 1.7% increase from 1.80 million a year ago. Unsold inventory came in at a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 3.8 months in March and up from 4.0 months in April 2018.
Mr. Yun said that sellers have to realize that price growth has moderated.
“We see that the inventory totals have steadily improved, and will provide more choices for those looking to buy a home,” Mr. Yun added. “When placing their home on the market, home sellers need to be very realistic and aware of the current conditions.”