There's so little choice that buyers aren't buying

by Steve Randall25 May 2018

The story was the same for all four major regions of the US last month; a lack of available homes to buy meant no gain in sales activity.

The National Association of Realtors says that the month snapped the two-month rise in sales activity nationally, with existing sales of 5.46 million (seasonally adjusted annual rate), down 2.5% from the 5.60 million in March.

Sales are now 1.4% below the same period of 2017 with two months of year-over-year declines.

"The root cause of the underperforming sales activity in much of the country so far this year continues to be the utter lack of available listings on the market to meet the strong demand for buying a home," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

Inventory, prices not mortgage rates are the issue
He added that Realtors say that buyers are not being put off by rising mortgage rates, it’s the lack of inventory and rising prices that are the big challenges.

There was an increase in supply in April with almost 10% more homes available by the end of April (1.80 million) but this was still 6.3% below the supply of a year earlier and is only 4 months of supply.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in April was $257,900, up 5.3% year-over-year and the 74th straight month of year-over-year gains.

"What is available for sale is going under contract at a rapid pace," said Yun. "Since NAR began tracking this data in May 2011, the median days a listing was on the market was at an all-time low in April [26 days], and the share of homes sold in less than a month [57%] was at an all-time high."


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