Existing home sale plunged 17.8% in April to an annual rate of 4.33 million, roughly matching expectations for an annual rate of 4.325 million. The decline last month follows a sharp drop of 8.5% in March and an annual rate of 5.27 million. Sales are trending much lower because of pandemic restrictions and are now 17.2% below year ago levels.
Sales declined in all regions of the U.S. in April, dropping 12.0%, 16.9%, and 17.9% in the Midwest, Northeast and South respectively, while the West posted the largest sales decline at 25.0%. The inventory of homes available for sale fell 1.3% on a monthly basis and 19.7% on a yearly basis to 1.470 million units which represents a 4.1 month-supply at the current sales pace.
House prices shot higher over the past year amid still tight supply; the annual gain in the median price for an existing home rose 7.4% in April to $286,800. “The economic lockdowns – occurring from mid-March through April in most states – have temporarily disrupted home sales,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “But the listings that are on the market are still attracting buyers and boosting home prices.”
**Via Economic Focus, for informational purposes only**