Existing Home Sales Unexpectedly Tumble As Homebuyer Confidence Hits Record Low

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, May 22, 2024 - 02:09 PM

After (unexpectedly) tumbling in March, existing home sales were expected to rise modestly (+0.8% MoM) in April. Analysts were wrong as March's data was revised marginally up from -4.3% MoM to -3.7% MoM and April printed -1.9% MoM (a big miss). That left existing home sales down 1.9% YoY...

Source: Bloomberg

That pushed the existing home sales SAAR back near COVID lockdown lows...

Source: Bloomberg

This really should not come as a surprise because, while homeBUILDERS remain optimistic that things will pick up, homeBUYERS are the least enthusiastic they have ever been about buying a home... going back almost 50 years...

Source: Bloomberg

And with mortgage rates still above 7%, we don't see things picking up meaningfully anytime soon...

Source: Bloomberg

...and then there's this...

Source: Bloomberg

Sales declined in all four regions, including a 2.6% decrease in the West and a 1.6% drop in the South

The median selling price increased 5.7% from a year ago to $407,600 - the highest for any April in data back to 1999.

Unlike in the new-home market, where rising inventories and the prevalence of incentives by builders have pushed prices down on an annual basis, the home-resale market is experiencing rising year-over-year price growth.

“Home prices reaching a record high for the month of April is very good news for homeowners,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement.

“However, the pace of price increases should taper off since more housing inventory is becoming available.”

About 68% of the homes sold were on the market for less than a month, up from 60% in March, while more than a quarter sold above the list price.