Sales of Existing Homes Fell 3.4% in April

Realtor and family looking at new home to purchase.
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Sales of existing homes fell 3.4% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.28 million, as fluctuating mortgage rates, home prices and a limited inventory of homes for sale slow activity in the housing market.

Key Takeaways

  • Existing home sales fell 3.4% in April.
  • Sales fell in all four regions on a month-over-month and year-over-year basis.
  • Existing home sale prices increased in the Northeast and Midwest, and declined in the West and South.

Sales were down 23.2% from the same month a year earlier. All four U.S. regions had month-over-month and year-over-year sales declines, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors. 

April did bring some good news for those looking to buy a new home. The median price for an existing home fell 1.7% from a year ago to $388,800. Inventory also increased 7.2% in April from the previous month. By the end of April, there were 1.04 million homes available, the equivalent of 2.9 months' supply at the current price, up from 2.6 months in March. 

"Home sales are bouncing back and forth but remain above recent cyclical lows," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "The combination of job gains, limited inventory, and fluctuating mortgage rates over the last several months have created an environment of push-pull housing demand."

In April, 73% of the homes sold were on the market for less than a month. First-time homebuyers accounted for 29% of sales. Single-family home sales fell 3.5% in April, down 22.4% from the year before. The median existing single-family home price was $393,300, down 2.1% from April 2022. 

Regional breakdown

In the Northeast, existing home sales dropped 1.9% from March. They were down 23.9% from April 2022. Existing home sales declined by the same amount in the Midwest, falling 21.5% from the year before. 

In the South, sales dropped by 3.4% from March, and 20.2% from a year earlier. The West had the biggest decline, with sales falling 6.1% from March, down 31.3% from the year before. 

Regionally, the U.S. market was split when it came to prices. Prices were down in the South and the West, but up in the Northeast and Midwest. 

"Roughly half of the country is experiencing price gains," Yun said. "Even in markets with lower prices, primarily the expensive West region, multiple-offer situations have returned in the spring buying season following the calmer winter market. Distressed and forced property sales are virtually nonexistent."

In the South, median prices fell 0.6% from one year ago, finishing the month at $357,000. In the West, prices were down 8.0% from April of last year, with median prices at $578,000. 

Median prices in the Northeast increased 2.8% from one year ago, to $422,700, while the median price in the Midwest was $287,000, up 1.8% from April 2022. 

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  1. National Association of Realtors, "Existing-Home Sales Faded 3.4% in April."

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