WASHINGTON (5/22/15)--While existing homes are selling at a relatively elevated pace, sales slowed in April to an adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
The pullback marks a 3.3% drop from the upwardly revised 5.21 million in March.
Despite the slowdown, however, sales climbed 6.1% on a year-over-year basis, and have risen annually for seven straight months.
“April’s setback is the result of lagging supply relative to demand and the upward pressure it’s putting on prices,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “However, the overall data and feedback we’re hearing from realtors continues to point to elevated levels of buying interest compared to a year ago.
“With low interest rates and job growth, more buyers will be encouraged to enter the market unless prices accelerate even higher in relation to incomes.”
Total inventory for single-family homes climbed 11.4% in April, but sits 0.4% lower annually.
The median existing-home price for all housing types, meanwhile, came in at $219,400 in April, nearly a 9% jump from the prior year.
“Housing inventory declined from last year and supply in many markets is very tight, which in turn is leading to bidding wars, faster price growth and properties selling at a quicker pace,” Yun said. “To put it in perspective, roughly 40% of properties sold last month went at or above asking price, the highest since NAR began tracking this monthly data in December 2012.”