Existing Home Sales in April Decline Month-Over-Month and Year-Over-Year

The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) reported on Thursday (5-19-22) that total existing home sales, which are completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops, dropped -2.4% in April from March to a seasonally adjusted rate at 5.61 million homes. This marks the third consecutive month of existing home sales declines. Year-over-year, however, sales are down -5.9% (5.96 million in April 2021).

Geographically, sales were split, with 2 of the 4 regions posting gains and the other two posting losses. Year-over-year sales were down in all 4-regions.

Total housing inventory at the end of April was 1,030,000 units, up month-over-month but down -10.4% from April 2021 (1.15 million). At the end of April, unsold inventory was at a 2.2-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 1.9 months March 2022 and down year-over-year from the April 2021 rate of 2.3 months.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in April was $391,200, up 14.8% from April 2021 ($340,700), as prices increased in each region. This marks 122 consecutive months of year-over-year increases, the longest-running streak on record.

In a statement prepared for the report, Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said:

“Higher home prices and sharply higher mortgage rates have reduced buyer activity. It looks like more declines are imminent in the upcoming months, and we’ll likely return to the pre-pandemic home sales activity after the remarkable surge over the past two years.

Housing supply has started to improve, albeit at an extremely sluggish pace. The market is quite unusual as sales are coming down, but listed homes are still selling swiftly, and home prices are much higher than a year ago. Moreover, an increasing number of buyers with short tenure expectations could opt for 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages, thereby assuring fixed payments over five years because of the rate reset. The cash buyers, not impacted by mortgage rate changes, remain elevated.”

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Existing-Home Sales Retract 2.4% in April