U.S. existing home sales fell for a third straight month, down by 2.4% in April, to a 5.61 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, the lowest since June 2020, as the housing market continued slowing amid rising interest rates, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. Wall Street analysts had been looking for a decline to 5.64 million units.
Sales are down 5.9% from a year earlier and projected to fall further as April home sales reflect still-low mortgage rates in March, NAR economist Lawrence Yun said. Sellers are receiving fewer offers and the NAR's buyer traffic index, based on lockbox data, has dropped to 54 from 80 last year. Supply has started to improve but very slowly and that trend should continue, Yun said. Inventory levels are still down 10.4% from a year earlier, the equivalent of 2.2 months supply.
All-cash transactions remain elevated at 26%, compared to under 20% pre-Covid. Investors made up 17% of transactions, about the same as a year ago. First-time buyers remain low at 28% of purchases.