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April Existing-Home Sales Fall, Inventory Rises

Existing-home sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million units in April, which is 1.0 percent below the 4.94 million units in March and 17.5 percent below the 5.93 million-unit level a year ago, NAR announced this morning. The median existing-home price in April was $202,300, down 8.0 percent from April 2007.

Total housing inventory increased 10.5 percent last month to 4.55 million homes available for sale. This represents an 11.2-month supply, up from a 10.0-month supply available last month.

Existing-home sales increased month-over-month in the West by 6.4 percent, remained unchanged in the South, and decreased in the Northeast and Midwest by 4.4 percent and 6.0 percent respectively. All regions saw decreases from a year ago: 15.3 percent in the West; 18.6 percent in the South; 14.7 percent in the Northeast; and 19.7 percent in the Midwest.

NAR President Richard F. Gaylord pointed to some good signs in the market. “In the past week, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae announced that they were eliminating their ‘declining market’ policies, effective June 1,” he said in a statement. “This means consumers across the country will have access to safe, affordable financing with down payments of only 5 percent on most mortgages, with 100 percent financing available on some loan products, and we could see an upturn in home sales this summer.”

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