Existing home sales fell 23.2% in April over last year

Overall sales decreased in all 4 regions of the country, while prices rose in the Northeast and Midwest and fell in the South and West

WASHINGTON — Existing home sales continued their year-over-year decline in April, falling 23.2% from April 2022 and 3.4% from this past March.

According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales totaled 4.28 million, compared to 5.57 million in April 2022.

The figures include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops. Single-family home sales were down 22.4% in April, to 3.85 million, from 4.96 million in April 2022 and down 3.5% from the 3.99 million sold in March.

Existing condominium and co-op sales totaled 430,000 in April, down 29.5% from the 610,000 sold in April 2022 and down 2.3% from March. The median condominium price was up .7% to $348,000 compared to a year ago.

The report provides retailers an insight into home sales activity around the country and their geographic region. While much industry attention is centered on housing construction, existing home sales are also important because they too spur demand for furniture as the layout and room sizes of a different home often require people to buy furniture that suits the layout.

According to the April report, there were a total of 1.04 million units for sale in April, up 7.2% from March and 1% from a year ago. This translates into an estimated 2.9-month supply of homes at the current pace of sales, which is up from 2.6 months in March and 2.2 months in April 2022.

“Home sales are bouncing back and forth, but remain above recent cyclical lows,” said Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the NAR. “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 median existing home price dropped to $388,800, from a year ago, a 1.7% decrease.

The NAR report also showed that prices rose in the Northeast and Midwest, but declined in the South and West.

“Roughly half the country is experiencing price gains,” Yun added. “Even with lower market 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.”

By region, the results were as follows:

+ Existing home sales in the Northeast totaled 510,000 in April, down 23.9% from the 670,000 sold in April 2022 and were down 1.9% from March. The median price was $422,700, up 2.8% from April 2022.

+ In the Midwest, existing home sales fell 21.5% to 1.02 million, from 1.3 million in April 2022, and were down 1.9% from March. The median home price in the region was $287,300, up 1.8% from April 2022.

+ In the South, sales fell 20.2% to 1.98 million from 2.49 million in April 2022, and fell 3.4% from March. The median home price in the South was $357,900, down .6% from April 2022.

+ In the West, sales fell 31.3% to 777,000, from 1.12 million in April 2022 and were down 6.1% from March. The median home price was $578,000, down 8% from April 2022.

Other highlights of the report are as follows:

+ Properties remained on the market for 22 days in April, down from 29 days in March but up from 17 days in April 2022. About 73% of the homes sold in April were on the market for less than a month, the NAR said.

+ First-time buyers made up about 29% of sales in April, up from 28% in April 2022 and March. The annual share of first-time buyers was 26%, which the NAR said was the lowest since it began tracking the data. Most first-time buyers include millennials, some of whom also are in the market for furniture for the first time as they may have previously received second-hand furniture from parents or other family members.

+ Individual investors and second-home buyers who account for many cash sales purchased 17% of the existing homes on the market, the same as April 2022 and March.

+ Distressed sales including foreclosures and short sales accounted for 1% of sales in April, the same as April 2022 and March.

+ The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.35% around May 11, which is down from 6.39% from the previous week, but up from 5.30% in April 2022.

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at tom@homenewsnow.com and at 336-508-4616.

View all posts by Thomas Russell →

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