Spring Home Sales Hounded by 'Push-Pull Demand' – National Association of Realtors

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Existing-home sales fell last month as the spring real estate market remains fluid and sensitive to the ongoing inventory shortage and changing mortgage rates. Existing-home sales, which include completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co-ops, dropped 3.4% month over month in April and were down 23% from a year earlier, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Thursday.
But new-home sales are a bright spot as buyers turn to new construction for more housing options in a market with bare-bones inventory. Builder incentives, such as mortgage rate buydowns, also are attracting buyers who are looking for some kind of affordability relief.
“The combination of job gains, limited inventory and fluctuating mortgage rates over the last several months have created an environment of push-pull housing demand,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Home sales are bouncing back and forth but remain above recent cyclical lows.”
Home prices are being impacted by that dynamic as well. The median price for an existing home among all housing types in April dropped 1.7% compared to a year earlier, reaching $388,800, NAR reports. Prices last month rose in the Northeast and Midwest but fell in the South and West.
“Roughly half of the country is experiencing price gains,” Yun says. “Even in markets with falling prices, primarily the expensive West region, multiple-offer situations have returned in the spring buying season following the calmer winter market. Distressed and forced property sales are virtually nonexistent.” 
Here’s a closer look at more key indicators from NAR’s latest existing-home sales report:
Here’s how existing-home sales fared across the country in April:
Melissa Dittmann Tracey is a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine, editor of the Styled, Staged & Sold blog, and produces a segment called “Hot or Not?” in home design that airs on NAR’s Real Estate Today radio show. Follow Melissa on Instagram and Twitter at @housingmuse.

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