The number of previously occupied homes sold in the U.S. dropped slightly to open the second quarter of the year, revealing the ongoing weakness in the housing market, although mortgage delinquencies have fallen, according to The Wall Street Journal. On Thursday, the National Association of Realtors reported that existing-home sales decreased by 0.8% in April from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.09 million. The defied economists expectations for a 2.0% increase in existing-home sales, while the median sales price fell 5.0% year-over-year to $163,700.
The construction of new homes was down 10.6% in April and off 23.9% from the level seen one year earlier. The inventory of previously owned homes on the market climbed in April to 3.87 million, which would be a 9.2-month supply at the current pace of sales. That figure is one-and-a-half times the healthy level of roughly a six-month supply, and up form an 8.3-month supply seen in March. In a separate report, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that 12.8% of mortgage loans were 30 days or more delinquent or in foreclosure at the end of March, which is down from 14% one year earlier. The improvement was linked to labor market growth.