Steel Markets

Existing Home Sales Dip in April

Written by Sandy Williams

Existing home sales dipped 2.3 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales were 1.6 percent higher than in April 2016.

Existing home inventory increased by 7.2 percent to 1.93 million in April, representing a 4.2 month supply at the current sales pace. Supply of existing homes was 9.0 percent lower than a year ago and has failed to meet year ago levels for 23 consecutive months.

Sales fell in all major regions except the Midwest. “Last month’s dip in closings was somewhat expected given that there was such a strong sales increase in March at 4.2 percent, and new and existing inventory is not keeping up with the fast pace homes are coming off the market,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Demand is easily outstripping supply in most of the country and it’s stymieing many prospective buyers from finding a home to purchase.”

Single family homes were down 2.4 percent while condo and co-op sales declined 1.6 percent. Prices continued to rise for both categories. Median price for single family homes was $246,100 in April, up 6.1 percent from a year ago. Median condo price was 5.6 percent higher at $234,600.

Regionally, Northeast sales slipped 2.7 percent, the South 5.0 percent, and the West 3.3 percent. Existing home sales in the Midwest was up 3.8 percent year-over-year.

Realtors Concerned about Tax Reform

NAR says it supports tax reform but not cuts to mortgage interest deductions. A recent report by NAR estimated taxes would rise on average by $815 annually for homeowners in the $50,000 to $200,000 income bracket should proposed tax reforms pass.

“Realtors support tax reform, but any plan that effectively nullifies the current tax benefits of owning a home is a non-starter for the roughly 75 million homeowners and countless prospective first-time buyers that see owning a home as part of their American Dream,” said NAR president William E. Brown.

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