The market for existing homes has never been this tight

Existing homes in April were on the market for the fewest days on record amid “stubbornly low supply levels,” the National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday.

The median number of days a home spent on the market was 29, the NAR’s monthly sales report said.

The market’s tightness slowed sales of existing condos, coops, and single-family homes, which fell by 2.3% at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million.

Economists had forecast that sales fell by 1.1% at a rate of 5.65 million. Sales in March, which previously eclipsed a 10-year high, were revised down to a 5.70 million pace.

Mortgage applications climbed for three straight months through May, showing that demand remained strong even though the inventory of affordable homes was low and prices were rising faster than wages.

The median price of all types of existing homes in April was $US244,800, up 6% from a year ago.

At April’s sales pace, the supply of unsold houses would clear in 4.2 months; a six-months supply is considered a healthy balance between demand and availability.

“Demand is easily outstripping supply in most of the country and it’s stymieing many prospective buyers from finding a home to purchase,” said Lawrence Yun, the NAR’s chief economist.

Earlier this year, the NAR noted that wealthier buyers who were willing to pay in cash made up an above-average share of the market and held a competitive advantage over first-time buyers.

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