U.S. home sales lose momentum

Home sales south of the border are slowing down, according to new figures from the National Association of Realtors.

Despite properties typically selling faster than at any time since July 2013, NAR said that existing home sales slowed in April in all major regions except for the Midwest.

Total existing home sales declined 3.3 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million in April, from an upwardly revised 5.21 million in March.

The NAR also found that, despite the monthly decline, sales have actually increased year-over-year for seven consecutive months and are still 6.1 per cent above a year ago.

“April's setback is the result of lagging supply relative to demand and the upward pressure it's putting on prices,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

“However, the overall data and feedback we're hearing from Realtors continues to point to elevated levels of buying interest compared to a year ago. With low interest rates and job growth, more buyers will be encouraged to enter the market unless prices accelerate even higher in relation to incomes.”

The median existing home price for all housing types in April was $219,400, which is 8.9 per cent above April 2014 – the largest gain since January 2014.

With demand far exceeding supply, properties sold in April faster (39 days) than at any time since July 2013 (42 days) and the second shortest time (37 days in June 2013) since NAR began tracking these statistics in May 2011.

“Housing inventory declined from last year and supply in many markets is very tight, which in turn is leading to bidding wars, faster price growth and properties selling at a quicker pace,” added Yun.

“To put it in perspective, roughly 40 per cent of properties sold last month went at or above asking price, the highest since NAR began tracking this monthly data in December 2012.”

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