Existing-Home Sales Decline 1.9 Percent, Sales Mostly Stagnant for 17 Months

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun6,2024 #finance

Existing-home sales fell 1.9 percent in April and are also down 1.9 percent from a year ago. Sales have not gone anywhere for 17 months.

Existing-home Sales data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) via the St. Louis Fed

The NAR reports Existing-Home Sales Retreated 1.9% in April

Key Highlights

  • Existing-home sales faded 1.9% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.14 million. Sales also dipped 1.9% from one year ago.
  • The median existing-home sales price rose 4.8% from March 2023 to $393,500 – the ninth consecutive month of year-over-year price gains and the highest price ever for the month of March.
  • The inventory of unsold existing homes climbed 9% from one month ago to 1.21 million at the end of April, or the equivalent of 3.5 months’ supply at the current monthly sales pace.
  • First-time buyers were responsible for 33% of sales in April, up from 32% in March and 29% in April 2023.
  • Individual investors or second-home buyers, who make up many cash sales, purchased 16% of homes in April, up from 15% in March but down from 17% in April 2023.

Home sales changed little overall, but the upper-end market is experiencing a sizable gain due to more supply coming onto the market,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

Existing-Home Sales Percent Change from Month Ago

Since February of 2022 existing home sales have only risen 6 out of 27 months.

Existing-Home Sales Supply

At the current rate of sales, the supply of homes for sale is 3.2 months.

Existing-Home Sales Percent Change from Year Ago

Data on the St. Louis Fed is limited. Year-over-year sales are down for at least 22 consecutive months.

At some point, year-over-year sales will rose but don’t make too much of it. The following chart puts sales into the proper perspective.

Existing Home Sales Since 1968

Existing-home sales courtesy of Trading Economics, anecdotes by Mish

Existing home sales have fallen to 4.14 million, about where they were in November of 1978.

The Civilian Noninstitutional Population (age 15+ not in the military or prison, etc.) was 132.9 million. As of March 2024 it was 267.9 million.

Housing Starts vs Completions Looks Ominous for the Economy

Housing completions have surpassed housing starts. History suggests bad things follow. But what’s happening this time?

Data from census department, calculations and chart by Mish

On May 16, I commented Housing Starts vs Completions Looks Ominous for the Economy

Starts Minus Completions

Except perhaps for the last box, the first four are associated with recessions.

Whether it’s all completions or just multi-family that matters the most, it doesn’t look very good either way.

And I still wonder where we are going to house millions of illegal aliens and at what price.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “Existing-Home Sales Decline 1.9 Percent, Sales Mostly Stagnant for 17 Months”
  1. As a homeowner myself, I am deeply concerned about the stagnation in the existing-home sales market. It’s disheartening to see prices continuously rising while affordability and buyer confidence are plummeting. The transition to Renter Nation seems inevitable unless significant changes are made in the market dynamics. Hopefully, owners and sellers will not suffer substantial losses in the process.

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