May 22, 2014

Existing-homes sales increased 1.3% in April

May 23, 2014 – Existing-home sales increased 1.3 percent nationwide in April to an annualized, seasonally adjusted 4.65 million units, according to data published by the National Association of Realtors and analyzed by NAFCU's Doug Christman.

"While this is the first monthly sales increase in 2014, overall sales are still down on a year-over-year basis," Christman said in a NAFCU Macro Data Flash report. Year-over-year, existing-home sales were down 6.4 percent.

"An increase in housing inventory in April helped boost sales, as pent up housing supply was released onto the market after several months of severe winter weather," Christman said. Existing condominium and co-op sales increased 7.3 percent in April and "contributed significantly" to the overall monthly gains, he said, while single-family home sales increased only 0.5 percent.

Sales increased in two of the four regions from March to April, rising 4.9 percent in the West and 1 percent in the South. The Northeast had no change from the previous month. Sales in the Midwest decreased 1 percent.

The months of available inventory increased to 5.9 months of supply in April from 5.1 months of supply in March. The April figure was 13.5 percent higher from a year ago.

The median existing-home price increased from a revised $196,700 in March to $201,700 (not seasonally adjusted) in April. That's up from $191,800 a year ago but down from the summer peak due to seasonal factors.

"Home sales are expected to improve throughout the year but are likely to be lower than 2013 due to a sluggish first quarter," Christman said.