Existing-home sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 5.57 million in April – down 2.3% from a downwardly revised estimate of 5.70 million in March, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Despite the month-over-month decrease, existing-home sales were up 1.6% compared with April 2016.
Tight inventory was the main reason for the decrease, NAR says.
“Last month’s dip in closings was somewhat expected, given that there was such a strong sales increase in March at 4.2 percent, and new and existing inventory is not keeping up with the fast pace homes are coming off the market,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, in a release. “Demand is easily outstripping supply in most of the country, and it’s stymieing many prospective buyers from finding a home to purchase.”
The median number of days a home was on the market in April fell to a new low of 29 days, NAR says.
Sales of existing single-family homes were at a rate of 4.95 million, a decrease of 2.4% compared with 5.07 million in March but still 1.6% above the 4.87 million seen a year earlier. The median existing single-family home price was $246,100, up 6.1% compared with April 2016.
Existing condominium and co-op sales were at a rate of about 620,000 units in April – a decrease of 1.6% compared with March but an increase of 1.6% compared with April 2016.
The median existing condo price was $234,600, an increase of 5.6% compared with a year earlier.
Existing-home sales increased 3.8% month over month in the Midwest; however, they decreased 5.0% in the South, fell 3.3% in the West and dropped 2.7% in the Northeast.
The median existing-home price for all housing types in April was $244,800, up 6.0% compared with $230,900 in April 2016.
April’s average home price increase marked the 62nd straight month of year-over-year gains.
As of the end of April, there were about 1.93 million existing homes available for sale – an increase of 7.2% compared with March but a decrease of 9.0% compared with April 2016.
That’s about a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace – down from 4.6 months a year ago.
Properties typically stayed on the market for 29 days in April – down from 34 days in March and 39 days a year earlier.
This was the shortest time frame since NAR began tracking the number of days on market in May 2011.
Fifty-two percent of homes sold in April were on the market for less than a month – a new high.
About 34% of existing-home sales in April were to first-time home buyers, according to NAR.
About 21% of transactions were all-cash – down from 23% in March and 24% a year earlier.
Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 15% of homes in April, which is unchanged from March but up from 13% a year ago. Fifty-seven percent of investors paid in cash in April.