22 May 2013
Housing inventory rose significantly in April, easing a supply shortage that some experts say has constrained home sales.
Meanwhile, existing-home sales edged upwards in April. Still, sales remain hampered due to limited supply and tight credit, according to NAR.
Housing inventory rose 11.9 percent to 2.16 million homes in April, representing a 5.2-month supply of homes at the current rate of home sales. That’s up from 4.7 months in March. But inventory still remained 13.6 percent below a year ago, when there was a 6.6-month stock.
Existing-home sales ticked up 0.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.97 million in April from an upwardly revised 4.94 million in March, according to NAR. That put sales at their highest level since November 2009, when a tax credit stimulated purchases, NAR said.
“The robust housing market recovery is occurring in spite of tight access to credit and limited inventory. Without these frictions, existing-home sales easily would be well above the 5-million-unit pace,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Buyer traffic is 31 percent stronger than a year ago, but sales are running only about 10 percent higher. It’s become quite clear that the only way to tame price growth to a manageable, healthy pace is higher levels of new-home construction.”