Home Sales Lag Slightly, Market Underperforms

Existing home sales saw a slight downturn in April, according to the National Association of Realtors. While sales were down, however, the market has gained during six of the past nine months, the NAR report notes.

Home sales fell 0.8%, to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.05 million. The numbers show a 12.9% decline year-over-year, from a 5.8 million pace in April 2010—but that month experienced a surge due in large part to the home buyer tax credit.

“Given the great affordability conditions, job creation and pent-up demand, home sales should be stronger,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Although existing-home sales are expected to trend up unevenly through next year, unnecessarily tight credit is continuing to restrain the market, along with a steady level of low appraisals that result in contract cancellations.”

Another NAR survey found that 11% of Realtors reported cancelled contracts in April due to appraisals coming in below the buyer-seller negotiated price. Additionally, 10% had contracts delayed and 14% said they saw contracts renegotiated to lower sales prices due to low appraisals.

Also according to NAR, housing inventory at the end of April increased 9.9% to 3.87 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 9.2-month supply at the current sales pace; up from an 8.3-month supply in March.

View the full report from NAR.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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