Luxury

Demand for homes in US market bad for prospective buyers

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Limited supply has restricted existing home sales in the U.S., dropping total sales by 2.3 percent in April, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors.

The number of homes sold last month, which includes single-family houses, townhomes, condos and co-ops, fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million, NAR said in the report released Wednesday. The homes that are on the market are selling fast as supply fails to catch up with demand, with the average home selling in less than a month—or a new low of just 29 days.

“New and existing inventory is not keeping up with the fast pace homes are coming off the market,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Demand is easily outstripping supply in most of the country and it’s stymieing many prospective buyers from finding a home to purchase.”

Across the U.S., supply is 9 percent lower than a year ago and fell in April for the 23rd consecutive month, though some regions are feeling the pressure more than others.

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While supply concerns are rippling through the mainstream market, a number of luxury hubs, like New York City and Miami, have been experiencing an oversupply among very pricey homes.

With more ample supply and a smaller pool of buyers, sales for homes priced at $1 million or more jumped 12.1 percent in April compared to a year ago, according to data from NAR. The West Coast saw the highest rate of sales growth in this tier, with million-dollar sales rising 16.7 percent.

In the Northeast, the million-plus market saw sales an  increase 7.7 percent last month, while it rose 9.7 percent in the South. The only region to see a contraction in the market for $1 million-plus home was the Midwest, where sales fell 5.5 percent.

Sales of homes priced at $1 million or more made up only 2.5 percent of the market of existing home sales in April.

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