Home prices continue to rise at a fast clip, faster than incomes and faster than new employment, but it is still cheaper to own a home than to rent. So why are home sales falling? Because there are crazy few affordable homes for sale.
The supply of listings in April fell 9 percent compared with a year ago, and, in turn, the number of days it took to sell the average home dropped to just 29, the lowest since the National Association of Realtors began tracking that in 2011. There was a big increase in the number of listings that came on the market this spring, but they were swept up so quickly that supplies were still lower.
"One thing we added this month to our Realtors confidence index is analyzing data on realtors' comments," said Danielle Hale, managing director of housing research at NAR. "The two biggest phrases in the comments this month were 'low inventory' and 'multiple offers.'"
Unfortunately for buyers, the cheapest segment of the market is where supplies are lowest. Sales of homes priced below $100,000 fell 17 percent in April compared with 2016, and in the under-$250,000