US Existing Home Sales Fall -2.4% in April as Mortgage Rates Rise

April US existing home sales from the National Association of Realtors fell 1.9% to 5.61 million below market forecasts of 5.65 million. This was the third straight month of declines. Higher rates are creating affordability pressures for prospective buyers.

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Mortgage rates have risen from record low levels as the economy reopened from coronavirus-induced restrictions.

Existing home sales drop in April on demand slowdown

Existing home sales data for April 2022

Highlights

  • US April existing home sales 5.61m vs 5.65m expected
  • Prior was 5.77m (revised to 5.75)
  • Sales change -2.4% vs -2.7% m/m expected
  • Inventory 2.2 vs 2.0 months prior (revised to 1.9 months), up 10.8% month-over-month at 1,030,000 units, but down 10.4% from a year ago of .3 months
  • Unsold inventory increased to a 2.2-month supply at the current sales pace versus 1.9 months in March, but it is still well below the 6.0-months’ supply typically associated with a more balanced market.
  • 88% of homes sold in April were on the market for less than a month, with properties typically remaining on the market for 17 days, equal to the number of days in March and April 2021.
  • Median price $391.4K vs $375.3K prior, the 122nd consecutive month of year-over-year gains and longest-running streak on record. 
  • First-time buyers accounted for 28% of sales in April, down from 30% in March and 31% in April 2021.
  • All-cash sales comprised 26% of transactions in April, down from 28% in March and up from 25% in April 2021.
  • Prices 14.8% y/y to $397,600.
  • Prices +2.9% m/m vs +4.5% prior

Supply of available homes for sale remains extremely tight, yet higher mortgage rates and higher inflation are contributing to a slowdown in demand rooted in affordability pressures that are expected to persist.

United States Existing Home Sales
United States Existing Home Sales

Regional Breakdown

  • Existing home sales across regions: Northeast (+1.5%); Midwest (+3.1%); South (-4.6%); and West (-5.8%).
  • Median home prices by region year-over-year: Northeast (+8.1% to $412,100); Midwest (+8.7% to $282,000); South (+22.2% to $352,100); and West (+4.3% to $523,000).

The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.5 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.


Existing home sales account for 90% of US transactions and are calculated on a contract close basis. New home sales account for the remaining 10% and are based on contract signings.

Existing-home sales include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, are based on transaction closings from Multiple Listing Services. Changes in sales trends outside of MLSs are not captured in the monthly series. NAR rebenchmarks home sales periodically using other sources to assess overall home sales trends, including sales not reported by MLSs.

Existing-home sales, based on closings, differ from the U.S. Census Bureau’s series on new single-family home sales, which are based on contracts or the acceptance of a deposit. Because of these differences, it is not uncommon for each series to move in different directions in the same month. In addition, existing-home sales, which account for more than 90% of total home sales, are based on a much larger data sample – about 40% of multiple listing service data each month – and typically are not subject to large prior-month revisions.

 Source: NAHB

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