Existing homes flew off the market during April. The median number of days in which homes were sold fell to a new low of 29 days, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The fast pace of home sales is largely prompted by low inventory levels at a time when many consumers are hoping to make a home purchase. Though available inventory increased 7.2% in April, the final count was still 9% lower than it had been a year before. April marked nearly two years of consistent year-over-year inventory losses.
The number of eligible homes on the market is a burden felt by most homebuyers, but it didn't discourage them from house hunting, Reuters reported.
"Lack of supply moving through the seasonal ramp-up in sales in the spring selling season slowed sales rather than demand," Ted Wieseman, an economist at Morgan Stanley in New York, told Reuters.
Between a dwindling housing supply and the determined buyers viewing them, home prices can only go one way: up. The median price for an existing home in April was $244,800, a 6% increase over April 2016. This marks more than five years of year-over-year increases.
"Realtors® continue to voice the frustration their clients are experiencing because of the insufficient number of homes for sale," Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR, said in a press release. "Homes in the lower- and mid-market price range are hard to find in most markets, and when one is listed for sale, interest is immediate and multiple offers are nudging the eventual sales prices higher."
Obstacles like increasing prices and too few available homes affected the sales pace in April, which fell 2.3% from March to 5.57 million. However, the housing market remains strong overall. Despite the decrease, sales occurred at the fourth-highest pace for the past 12 months and were 1.6% higher than April 2016.
Consumers who want to make a home purchase would do well to take extra steps before their house hunt begins to ensure they are able to find an affordable home that's right for them. There are many ways homebuyers can increase their chances of getting an offer accepted, such as by getting pre-approved for a residential mortgage.
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