U.S. Existing Home Sales Unexpectedly Plunge 3.4% In April

The National Association of Realtors released a report on Thursday unexpectedly showing a steep drop in U.S. existing home sales in the month of April.

NAR said existing home sales plunged by 3.4 percent to an annual rate of 4.28 million in April after tumbling by 2.6 percent to a revised rate of 4.43 million in March.

The extended pullback surprised economists, who had expected existing home sales to inch up by 0.1 percent compared to the 2.4 percent slump originally reported for the previous month.

“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.”

The report said housing inventory at the end of April totaled 1.04 million units, up 7.2 percent from March and up 1.0 percent from a year ago.

The unsold inventory represents 2.9 months of supply at the current sales pace, up from 2.6 months in March and 2.2 months in April 2022.

The median existing home price was $388,800 in April, down 1.7 percent from $395,500 in the same month a year ago.

“Roughly half of the country is experiencing price gains,” Yun noted, with prices rising in the Northeast and Midwest but falling in the South and West.

“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,” he added. “Distressed and forced property sales are virtually nonexistent.”

Next Tuesday, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release a separate report on new home sales in the month of April.

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