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Home sales regress 3.4% in ‘push-pull’ demand conditions

In a perpetually befuddling housing market, home sales and home prices fell between March and April as well as annually.

A view of houses in a suburb clustered together, with a city skyline in the distance behind the line of houses.

Across all four regions, existing-home sales (closings) dipped monthly and annually, averaging a 3.4% slide from March of this year, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). All four major U.S. regions registered month-over-month and year-over-year sales declines.

“Home sales are bouncing back and forth but remain above recent cyclical lows. 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.”NAR Chief Economist, Dr. Lawrence Yun

Inventory conditions remain restrictively tight despite a 1.0% increase over the last year, and a 7.2% increase from March to April. There is a 2.9-month supply at the current sales pace. The average days on market was 22 days in April, down from 29 days in March, but up from 17 days in April 2022. Fully 73% of homes sold in April did so in less than a month.

Median existing-home prices fell 1.7% from April 2022, resting at a still eye-popping $388,8000. For the month, prices increased in the Midwest and Northeast, but decreased in the South and West, with Dr. Yun observing that “roughly half of the country is experiencing price gains.”

Dr. Yun indicates that, “Even in markets with lower 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.”

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First time buyers accounted for 29% of sales in April, an important marker of the health of the overall market. That number is up from 28% in March 2023 and April 2022.

NAR reports that all-cash sales made up 28% of transactions in April (up 1% monthly, but down 2% annually), and that second-home buyers (who make up many of the cash sales) accounted for 17% of home purchases, identical to the month and year prior.

Home sales fell in the Northeast 1.9% from March, and 23.9% from April 2022. In the Midwest, they fell 1.9% monthly, and 21.5% annually. The Southern region saw a 3.4% decrease in sales monthly, and a 20.2% decline annually. Compared to the previous month, home sales in the West fell 6.1%, and annually, experienced a painful 31.3% decline.

The median price in the Northeast rose 2.8% from April 2022 to $422,700, while rising 1.8% in the Midwest during the same period to $287,300. In the South, the median price fell 0.6% annually to $357,900 while falling 8.0% in the West to $578,200.

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Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.


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