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Inventory Improves As Home Sales Slow

New numbers from the National Association of Realtors show sales of previously owned homes fell 2.7 percent in March, pushing sales 4.5 percent lower than they were last year at the same time. It was the second straight month home sales slowed. Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, says homes are still selling quickly despite the decline. “The housing market is starting to feel the impact of sharply rising mortgage rates and higher inflation taking a hit on purchasing power,” Yun said. “Still, homes are selling rapidly, and home price gains remain in the double-digits.” It's true. While sales declined, listings continued to sell quickly. In March, for example, 87 percent of homes sold in less than a month. But while higher prices and fast sales continue to challenge home buyers, there are signs that a better balanced market is on the way. In fact, the number of homes for sale at the end of March was up nearly 12 percent from the month before, a sign that for-sale inventory is beginning to rebound. As more homes become available, prices will moderate and buyers will have more choices and encounter fewer bidding wars.