U.S. existing home sales drop 1.9% in April, pushed lower by high rates and high prices


WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes sank last month, pushed down by high mortgage rates and rising prices.

Existing home sales fell 1.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.14 million from a revised 4.2 million in March, the National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday. The median price of previously occupied homes rose 5.7% to $407,600 — the tenth straight increase and a record for April.

Lawrence Yun, the association’s chief economist, called the sales drop “a little frustrating.” Economists had expected sales to come in at 4.2 million.

The rate on the benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate loan has risen five of the last six weeks and stands at 7.02%, up from 6.39% a year ago. Would-be homebuyers are also deterred by the high prices, caused partly by a tight inventory of available homes.

The supply of homes rose 9% from March to 1.2 million, but remains low: It was running at 1.7 million before the pandemic.

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