Existing home sales climbed 1.3% month-over-month in April to an annualized pace of 4.65 million units.
The latest data missed expectations for a 2.2% rise to an annualized pace of 4.69 million units. And existing home sales are down 6.8% from a year ago.
This compares to a 0.2% fall to an annualized pace of 4.59 million units in March.
"The trend in sales is unlikely to rise much across the remainder of this year, thanks to the 20% increase in the monthly payment on a mortgage for a median property compared to a year ago," writes Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macroeconomics.
Housing inventory jumped 16.8% to 2.29 million existing homes for sale or a 5.9 month supply at the current sales pace.
Single family home sales were up 0.5% to a seasonally adjusted to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.06 million in April, but were down 7.7% from a year ago.
"We’ll continue to see a balancing act between housing inventory and price growth, which remains stronger than normal simply because there have not been enough sellers in many areas," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist in a press release. "More inventory and increased new-home construction will help to foster healthy market conditions,” Yun added."
Here's a look at the regional breakdown:
- In the Northeast, existing home sales were unchanged month-over-month, but down 6.3% from a year ago.
- In the Midwest, they were down 1% on the month and 9.6% from a year ago.
- In the South, existing home sales were up 1% on the month, but down 3.5% from a year ago.
- In the West, they were up 4.9% on the month but down 10% from a year ago.
The pending home sales index increased modestly in March, and the series leads existing home.
Moreover, sales are expected to get a boost as the weather returns to normal seasonal patterns.
But Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen has expressed concern about the housing recovery.
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