U.S. Existing Home Sales (April 2024)

Shernette McLeod, Economist | 416-415-0413 

Date Published: May 22, 2024

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U.S. Existing Home Sales Trek Lower in April

  • Existing home sales fell by -1.9% month-on-month (m/m) to 4.14 million units (annualized) in April, coming in below consensus forecast calling for a slight gain (0.5% m/m).
  • Single-family home sales fell -2.1% to 3.74 million units, while sales in the smaller condo/co-op segment remained unchanged at 400-thousand units.
  • Sales were down in all regions last month, with declines of -4.0% m/m in the Northeast, -1.0% m/m in the Midwest, -1.6% m/m in the South, and -2.6% m/m in the West.
  • Total housing inventory at the end of April was 1.21 million units, up 16.3% from a year ago. Measured at the current sales rate and seasonally adjusting, unsold inventory sat at 3.5 months' supply – up from 3.0 months in April 2023, but still tight on a historic basis.
  • House prices were up 5.7% from a year ago, an acceleration from 4.7% (y/y) in the month prior. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the median home price rose 0.4% m/m, reversing most of last month's -0.5% decline (seasonal adjustment performed by TD Economics).  

Key Implications

  • The housing market kicked off Q2 with much of the same from last quarter. Sales have largely been stuck in a holding pattern as a combination of high prices and elevated mortgage rates serve to restrain buying activity. The usually busy spring season has so far been quite tame, with both buyers and sellers sitting on the sidelines.
  • With inflation currently still hovering above the Fed's 2% target and progressing at a slower pace more recently, predictions for rate cuts sooner-rather-than-later have abated. As such, mortgage rates are likely to remain elevated for much of the year, weighing on overall affordability and preventing any meaningful rebound in home sales in 2024.