Pricing and mortgage availability barring first-time homebuyers

|By:, SA News Editor

March's existing home sales volume of 4.59M was 7.5% below last year's pace and the slowest volume since July 2012. The NAR's Larry Yun sounds frustrated: “There really should be stronger levels of home sales given our population growth."

The median price of $198,500 is up 7.9% from a year ago. Distressed sales accounted for 14% of all sales, down from 21% a year ago. Inventory rose 4.7% to 1.99M homes - a 5.2 month supply at the current sales pace, up from 5.0 months in February.

All-cash sales accounted for 33% of all deals vs. 35% in February, 30% a year ago. Individual investors purchased 17% of homes, vs. 21% in February, 19% a year ago. Seventy-one percent of investors paid cash in March.

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