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Lack of Inventory Prevents Price Declines, Holds Back April Home Sales

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Lack of Inventory Prevents Price Declines, Holds Back April Home Sales


May 19, 2020
For sale sign home
By Petrik

In April, housing demand was in free fall, plummeting 22.5 percent from the same time last year, according to Redfin. The only factor that kept housing prices stable was that supply was falling even faster. No metro areas had listing increases in April, and the national average for new listings fell 42.4 percent year-over-year. Overall, expensive markets saw the biggest drops in home sales, but even smaller, more affordable metros such as Detroit took major hits due to shutdown restrictions. 

The effects of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent shutdowns hit the housing market in full force in April, with sales and listings both turning in historic declines from year-ago levels. In the past two months, the housing market has seen the fastest slowdown on record as it flipped from one of the strongest markets ever at the end of February to a near standstill in April.

Home sales in April plunged 22.5% from a year ago, as did both the number of homes newly listed for sale (-42.4%) and the number of homes available for sale (-24.5%). Home prices were still up from a year ago, but the rate of growth in the U.S. median home sale price stumbled slightly to 4.9% year over year, down from 6.9% in March. The national median sale price in April was $303,895.

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