Existing-home sales slipped 2% in April

Existing-home sales eased in April on the heels of a two-month rebound, according to the National Association of Realtors®.Total existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – slipped 2.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of 6.76 million units in April from a downwardly revised level of 6.90 million in March, and were 5.7 percent below the 7.17 million-unit pace in April 2005.

David Lereah, NAR’s chief economist, said the decline was expected - “Higher interest rates are slowing home sales, but we see this as another sign of a soft landing for the housing sector which remains at historically high levels.”
According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 6.51 percent in April, up from 6.32 percent in March; the rate was 5.86 percent in April 2005. The national median existing-home price2 for all housing types was $223,000 in April, up 4.2 percent from April 2005 when the median was $214,000. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

Total housing inventory levels rose 5.8 percent at the end of April to 3.38 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 6.0-month supply at the current sales pace.

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