Log in

US existing home sales plunge 17.8% in April

Posted on Thursday, May 21st, 2020 By Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of existing homes plunged 17.8% in April with the real estate market still in the grips of the coronavirus pandemic.

The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that last month's decline pushed sales down to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.33 million units, the slowest pace since September 2011.

The sales drop was the largest one-month decline since a 22.5% fall in July 2010. That tail-off was preceded by the end a congressionally approved tax credit intended pull the housing market out of the 2006 collapse of the housing market.

The median price for a home sold in April was $286,800, which was an increase of 7.4% from a year ago. Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the Realtors group, attributed the big jump in the median price to a lack of enough homes for sale, especially for first-time buyers.

Sales were down in all parts of the country with the West seeing a 25% drop. Sales in the Northeast fell 16.9%. Sales were down 17.9% in the South and down 12% in the Midwest.

Analysts said that the coronavirus shutdowns had contributed to the shortage in the number of homes for sale in April and that played a role in the increase in prices.

“Homebuyers are getting back out there, searching for more space as they realize using their home as an office and school may become the norm,” said Taylor Marr, lead economist at Redfin, a real estate brokerage firm. “But sellers are still holding off on listing their homes, partially due to economic uncertainty and concerns of health risks.”

Redfin said that the most competitive housing markets in April and early May were Boston, San Francisco and Fort Worth.

Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, said she expected sales to rebound off their lows in May “as a combination of pent-up demand as well as a desire to move to less densely populated areas boosts sales.”

7 Best Stocks to Own Right Now

Today, we are inviting you to view our list of the seven best stocks to own for the next thirty days.

Why is it worth looking into these stocks? Some of Wall Street's most respected and most accurate research analysts have been upgrading these stocks and raising their price targets for these companies.

No, we're not talking recommendations from some no-name blogger or a junior analyst from a brokerage you've never heard of. These stocks have received multiple positive recommendations in the last 30 days from analysts that have received four star and five star rankings from MarketBeat's proprietary brokerage ranking system.

Analysts given four star and five star ratings from MarketBeat consistently issue accurate price targets and their buy recommendations often outperform the market by double digits. Buy recommendations from our current top-rated brokerage, National Securities, have gone up by an average of 47.5% in the 12 months after they were issued.

We've reviewed every research report published by these top-rated analysts in the last 90 days and have identified seven stocks that these analysts are poised for an immediate breakout.

View the "7 Best Stocks to Own Right Now".

30 Days of MarketBeat All Access for $1.00

Sign up for MarketBeat All Access to gain access to MarketBeat's full suite of research tools:

  • Best-in-Class Portfolio Monitoring

    View the latest news, buy/sell ratings, SEC filings and insider transactions for your stocks. Compare your portfolio performance to leading indices and get personalized stock ideas based on your portfolio.

  • Stock Ideas and Recommendations

    Get daily stock ideas top-performing Wall Street analysts. Get short term trading ideas from the MarketBeat Idea Engine. View which stocks are hot on social media with MarketBeat's trending stocks report.

  • Advanced Stock Screeners and Research Tools

    Identify stocks that meet your criteria using seven unique stock screeners. See what's happening in the market right now with MarketBeat's real-time news feed. Export data to Excel for your own analysis.

Start Your Risk-Free Trial Subscription Here

Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of analysts' upgrades, downgrades and new coverage with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.