All Regions of U.S. Experience Monthly Home Sales Declines in April

All Regions of U.S. Experience Monthly Home Sales Declines in April

Residential News » Washington D.C. Edition | By David Barley | May 23, 2024 8:05 AM ET

According to new data from the National Association of Realtors, existing U.S. home sales declined in April 2024. All four major U.S. regions experienced month-over-month decreases. Yet, year-over-year sales fell in the Northeast, Midwest, and South, but rose exclusively in the West.

Total existing-home sales, which include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops, dropped 1.9% from March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.14 million in April 2024. Compared to April 2023, sales also decreased by 1.9%, down from 4.22 million.

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Lawrence Yun

"Home sales changed little overall, but the upper-end market is experiencing a sizable gain due to more supply coming onto the market," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

At the end of April, total housing inventory reached 1.21 million units, representing a 9% increase from March and a 16.3% rise from a year ago (1.04 million). The unsold inventory now stands at a 3.5-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 3.2 months in March and 3.0 months in April 2023. For homes priced at $1 million or more, both inventory and sales saw substantial increases of 34% and 40%, respectively, compared to a year ago.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in April was $407,600, marking a 5.7% increase from the previous year ($385,800). All four U.S. regions experienced price gains.

"Home prices reaching a record high for the month of April is very good news for homeowners," Yun added. "However, the pace of price increases should taper off since more housing inventory is becoming available."

Confidence Index

According to the monthly Realtors Confidence Index, properties typically stayed on the market for 26 days in April, down from 33 days in March but up from 22 days in April 2023.

First-time buyers accounted for 33% of sales in April, an increase from 32% in March and 29% in April 2023. The NAR's 2023 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, released in November 2023, reported an annual share of first-time buyers at 32%.

All-cash sales made up 28% of transactions in April, the same as in March and one year ago.

Individual investors or second-home buyers, who often purchase with cash, bought 16% of homes in April, up from 15% in March but down from 17% in April 2023.

Distressed sales, including foreclosures and short sales, represented 2% of sales in April, remaining steady compared to last month and the previous year.

U.S. Mortgage Rates

According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 7.02% as of May 16. That's down from 7.09% the previous week but up from 6.39% one year ago.

Single-family and Condo/Co-op Sales

Single-family home sales decreased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.74 million in April, down 2.1% from 3.82 million in March and 1.3% from the prior year. The median existing single-family home price was $412,100 in April, up 5.6% from April 2023.

At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 400,000 units in April, existing condominium and co-op sales were unchanged from last month and down 7% from one year ago (430,000 units). The median existing condo price was $365,300 in April, up 5.4% from the previous year ($346,700).

Regional Breakdown

Existing-home sales in the Northeast fell by 4% from March to an annual rate of 480,000 in April, marking a 4% decrease from April 2023. The median price in the Northeast rose to $458,500, an 8.5% increase from the previous year.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales dropped 1% from the previous month to an annual rate of 1 million in April, a 1% decline from a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $303,600, up 6% from April 2023.

Existing-home sales in the South decreased by 1.6% from March to an annual rate of 1.9 million in April, a 3.1% drop from the previous year. The median price in the South increased to $366,200, a 3.7% rise from last year.

In the West, existing-home sales declined 2.6% from the previous month to an annual rate of 760,000 in April, but this represents a 1.3% increase from one year ago. The median price in the West climbed to $629,600, up 9.3% from April 2023.

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