Resales Fall; Unsold Homes Hit 15-Year High
Single-family existing-home sales fell 2.4% in April, and the supply of unsold homes on the market shot up to the highest level in 15 years, according to the National Association of Realtors. The NAR reported that sales of previously owned single-family homes fell from a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million in March to 5.22 million in April. Compared with the level recorded in April 2006, sales were down 11.2%. NAR senior economist Lawrence Yun said the April sales continued to be affected by weather issues and the problems in the subprime market. However, he said he is seeing data that show improved sales in early May. And he said it may indicate that the subprime problem will turn out to be a "short-term disruption to the homebuying process" as buyers find other mortgage products. Meanwhile, the supply of unsold single-family homes jumped by 11.5% to 3.6 million in April, which represents an 8.3-month supply at the current sales pace and the highest monthly supply since 1992. Sales of condominiums and co-ops fell 3.8% in April, but inventories rose by only 4.1%. The NAR economist said the condo market has strengthened thanks to "bottom fishing" by investors.