What the April inventory bump signals for the U.S. housing market

by Emily Mack

Though the number of active U.S. listings did shrink in April, it fell by the smallest amount — 12.2% — since December 2019, according to a new monthly report from Realtor.com. And the change has left experts feeling confident.

“April data suggests a positive turn of events is on the horizon for weary buyers. If the trends we’re seeing now hold true, we could potentially see year-over-year inventory growth within the next few weeks,” Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com, noted in the report. “While home shoppers are still seeking relief from record-high asking prices and all-time low supply … an imminent rebound is welcome news — a real estate refresh, if you will.”

Additionally, the type of homes entering the market indicate a fluctuation in buyers’ needs. April’s rise in newly listed inventory was mainly driven by mid-sized homes which were up 2.34% from a year ago. This could mean more options for families looking to upgrade from starter homes and, subsequently, making room for first-time buyers to enter the market.

The influx of mid-sized homes was also compounded by other current trends. With higher mortgage rates hampering competition, the rampant demand seen over the last two years is slowing. So, although new listings were technically down year over year in April, so was the number of homes under contract; pending listings were down 9.5% from last year.

“There’s a long uphill climb to balance, but it starts with heading in the right direction, and April data shows a lot of promise,” Hale said.

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