Existing Home Sales Fall But Beat Consensus; Rate of Decline Steady

Existing Home Sales fell to 4.89 million in April, down from 4.94 million in March, but beat consensus of 4.85 million. The 1% month-over-month (17.5% year-over-year) drop represents a continued deceleration in the decline of home sales and will likely fuel speculation that the housing slump is nearing its bottom.

Median housing prices, meanwhile, fell 8% year-over-year. This shows a steady rate of decling following a 7.7% drop in March and an 8.2% fall in February. An important point, however: It’s unlikely that this drop represents an actualy 8% drop in home values, but rather represents a change in profile in the types of houses being sold, as more smaller-sized, lower-priced units go on the market.

Inventory jumped to its second highest level on record, with 4.55 million homes listed for sale a 10.5% increase month-over-month, but only a 7.5% increase year-over-year. Inventory levels represent 11.2 months of supply at the current sales pace.

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