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Lack of supply drives down number of Americans buying homes in April

Newn Home Construction
Posted at 3:08 PM, May 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-27 17:08:45-04

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Record-low inventory has led to a dramatic drop in the number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes in April, compared to the previous month.

The National Association of Realtors’ index of pending home sales fell 4.4% to 106.2 in April, a third sluggish month after nearly a year of quick growth following a brief slowdown in the early days of the pandemic last spring. April pending home sales were up year-over-year by nearly 50%, since home sales were so low during initial pandemic lockdowns and stay-at-home orders.

The number of people looking to move has not necessarily changed, but not as many people are willing to sell their current home.

"Contract signings are approaching pre-pandemic levels after the big surge due to the lack of sufficient supply of affordable homes," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist in a report.

That lack of inventory of available homes, combined with the skyrocketing cost of lumber and other building materials, has pushed prices of new and existing homes to record highs, according to NAR.

Yun said he anticipates an increase in housing supply this autumn.