Existing-home sales dip in April

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun isn't concerned about the slowdown in sales, or what it means for the market

Existing-home sales for single-family homes, townhouses, condos and co-ops fell 0.4 percent from March to April and were down 4.4 percent year-over-year, according to the latest data published Tuesday by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, however, isn’t concerned about the dip in the sales and what it means for the market longterm.

“First, we are seeing historically low mortgage rates combined with a pent-up demand to buy, so buyers will look to take advantage of these conditions,” Yun said in a statement. “Also, job creation is improving, causing wage growth to align with home price growth, which helps affordability and will help spur more home sales.”

Cheryl Young, the senior economist at Trulia also believes the market will see an uptick in sales as we enter the summer.

“As we approach summer, prospective buyers will be looking to take advantage of low rates, the slowest home price appreciation in over 6 years and slightly more inventory in the market as home buying and selling season is in full swing,” Young said. “Moreover, mortgage rates will likely remain low due to a strong economy and escalating tension around trade.”

The median price for all existing-homes in April was $267,300, an increase of 3.6 percent year-over-year and the 86th straight month of annual gains.

At the end of April, the total housing inventory was at 1.83 million – or 4.2-months supply at the current sales pace – up 1.7 percent year-over-year.

“We see that the inventory totals have steadily improved, and will provide more choices for those looking to buy a home,” Yun said. “When placing their home on the market, home sellers need to be very realistic and aware of the current conditions.”

Danielle Hale, the chief economist at realtor.com said March’s pending home sales foreshadowed a pick-up in sales in April, but that strong momentum is still yet to materialize.