The latest figures on existing-home sales are out and here’s the most striking fact: The median home price for all housing types in April was $219,400, which is 8.9 percent above April 2014.
This marks the 38th consecutive month of year–over–year price gains, and April’s increase is the largest since January 2014 (10.1 percent).
Rising home prices are behind the current market trend of demand far exceeding supply, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Properties sold in April faster (39 days) than at any time since July 2013 (42 days) — and the second shortest time (37 days in June 2013) since NAR began tracking this category in May 2011.
Nearly half (46 percent) of homes sold in April were on the market for less than a month. Supply is so tight in some markets that bidding wars are erupting.
“Housing inventory declined from last year and supply in many markets is very tight, which in turn is leading to bidding wars, faster price growth and properties selling at a quicker pace,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “To put it in perspective, roughly 40 percent of properties sold last month went at or above asking price, the highest since NAR began tracking this monthly data in December 2012.”
Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, declined 3.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million in April, from an upwardly revised 5.21 million in March.
Home Sales Are 6% Higher Than A Year Ago
Despite the monthly decline, sales have increased year–over–year for seven consecutive months and are still 6.1 percent above a year ago.
Short sales were on the market the longest at a median of 180 days in April, while foreclosures sold in 50 days and non–distressed homes took 38 days.
This fast turnaround is happening despite declining interest among investors, although cash transactions still dominate.
All-cash sales were 24 percent of transactions in April, unchanged from March and down considerably from a year ago (32 percent). Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 14 percent of homes in April, unchanged from last month and down from 18 percent in April 2014.
Seventy–one percent of investors paid cash in April.