Sales of existing homes dropped 2.7% in April from March to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.85 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors.
It was the third straight month of declines, the group said.
Sales were 33.9% higher than April 2020, but that comparison is an anomaly because the housing market and economy shut down at the start of the pandemic. Housing then rebounded strongly last summer. Sales were still 11% stronger than April 2019.
“I would say it is hot, that is the one word description even with the sales decline,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtors. For every listing there are 5.1 offers. Half of the homes are being sold above list price.”
The supply of homes for sale at the end of April was down 20%. There were 1.16 million homes for sale, representing a 2.4-month supply at the current sales pace.
High demand and rock-bottom supply continued to push prices higher. The median price of an existing home sold in April was $341,600, an increase of 19.1% from April 2020. That is both the highest median price on record and the largest annual increase on record.
Much of that large increase in the median price is due to the mix of homes that are selling. There is far more activity on the higher end of the market, where supply is more plentiful, and very little activity on the low end, where the shortage is most severe.