Existing home sales nationwide and in western states dipped slightly in April as supplies continue to tighten and prices rose yet again, according to a report today from the National Association of Realtors. Demand is simply outstripping supply, especially with lower-priced homes.
One reason for the dip: strong sales in March. In fact, last week, the NAR reported the first quarter of 2017 (January through March) saw a pace of sales not achieved in a decade. Likewise, North Phoenix home sales have been brisk, with rising prices.
“New and existing inventory is not keeping up with the fast pace homes are coming off the market,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Demand is easily outstripping supply in most of the country and it’s stymieing many prospective buyers from finding a home to purchase.”
The median number of days a home sat on the market fell to 29 — indicating a very tight inventory. The figure was 34 days in March and 39 days a year ago.
The shortage is most acute for humbler abodes.
“Homes in the lower- and mid-market price range are hard to find in most markets, and when one is listed for sale, interest is immediate and multiple offers are nudging the eventual sales prices higher,” Yun said.
Total existing-home sales, including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, fell 2.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million in April from a downwardly revised 5.70 million in March. April’s figure was 1.6 percent above a year ago.
The median price for existing homes in April was $244,800, up 6 percent from a year ago. Year-over-year prices have increased for 62 straight months (just more than five years).
Existing-home sales in the West declined 3.3 percent to an annual rate of 1.18 million in April, but are still 3.5 percent above a year ago. The median price in the West was $358,600, up 6.8 percent from April 2016.