Home prices across the U.S. are soaring as supply remains low and demand for housing has skyrocketed, squeezing first time buyers.
The median existing-home price for all housing types in April was $341,600, up 19.1 percent from April 2020 when the median price was $286,800, the National Association of Realtors said. This is the highest price on record and beats last month’s record-breaking 17.2 percent annual gain. This marks 110 straight months of year-over-year gains.
The median existing single-family home price was $347,400 in April, up 20.3 percent from April 2020. Both the price level and the pace of gains hit historic highs, surpassing last month’s record-breaking 18.4 percent gain to $334,500.
Total existing-home sales—completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops—fell 2.7 percent from March to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.85 million in April. In March, sales fell 3.7 percent from February 2021, to a 6.01 million seasonally-adjusted annual rate.
The year-over-year comparisons in sales volumes are skewed by last year’s lockdowns, which all but shut down the market. Sales are 33.9 percent above the 2020 level but only 11 percent above the 2019 level.
“Home sales were down again in April from the prior month, as housing supply continues to fall short of demand,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.
Housing supply has begun to recover. Total housing inventory at the end of April amounted to 1.16 million units, up 10.5 percent from March’s inventory and down 20.5 percent from one year ago. Unsold inventory sits at a 2.4-month supply at the current sales pace, slightly up from March’s 2.1-month supply and down from the 4.0-month supply recorded in April 2020. These numbers continue to represent near-record lows, the NAR said.
First-time buyers were responsible for 31 percent of sales in April, down from 32 percent in March and 36 percent in April 2020.
“First-time buyers in particular are having trouble securing that first home for a multitude of reasons, including not enough affordable properties, competition with cash buyers and properties leaving the market at such a rapid pace,” Yun said.
Homes priced between $100,000 and $1 million sell on average in eight or fewer days on the market. Million-dollar and more expensive homes stay on average for just 13 days. Homes priced under $100,000 stay on the market for 22 days on average.