Thursday, May 21, 2015

Existing Home Sales Slowed in April

Existing home sales declined 3.3% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.04 million, down from an upwardly revised 5.21 million in March. Existing home sales remain 6.1% higher than last year, despite last month’s decline.

The median existing-home prices increased 8.9% year over year to $219,400, the largest gain since January 2014.

Total housing inventory increased 10% to 2.21 million homes available for sale, 0.9% lower than a year ago. There is currently a 5.3 month supply of existing homes available for sale, up from 4.6 months in March.

National Association of Realtors President Chris Polychron, warned that markets could slow after August 1st, when lenders transition to new closing procedures required by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s RESPA-TILA integrated disclosure rule. “We hope that the move away from the HUD—1 is smooth, but even if 10% of transactions experience closing issues, that’s as many as 40,000 transactions a month.”

Existing home sales increased 1.7% in the Midwest, but declined in the three other regions—falling by 3.1% in the Northeast, 1.7% in the West, and 6.8% in the South. Despite slowing sales over the month, each region saw year-over-year gains in home prices, especially in the Midwest and West regions which rose by 11.4% and 10.0% respectively.

All cash sales were 24% of transactions, while the share of first time homebuyers was 30%, both the same as in March.

Read the NAR report

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