Temperatures are heating up, yet the U.S. housing market remains cooler than usual for this time of year due to a combination of low inventory and higher borrowing costs, which have restricted market activity going into the summer homebuying season. According to the latest data from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), national existing-home sales climbed 0.2% from the previous month but were down 20.4% compared to the same time last year, as fluctuating mortgage rates and a near all-time low level of inventory continue to influence home sales.

New Listings were down 21.0 percent to 256. Pending Sales increased 9.7 percent to 261. Inventory grew 4.6 percent to 436 units. Prices moved higher as Median Sales Price was up 2.7 percent to $410,875. Days on Market increased 50.7 percent to 101 days. Months Supply of Inventory was up 18.8 percent to 1.9 months, indicating that supply increased relative to demand.

Nationwide, total housing inventory increased 3.8% from the previous month, for a 3-month’s supply at the current sales pace. The shortage of homes for sale has kept prices high for remaining buyers, with a national median sales price of $396,100 as of last measure, a 3.1% decline from the same time last year and the largest annual decrease since December 2011, according to NAR. As demand continues to outpace supply, properties are selling quickly, with the majority of homes listed for sale on the market for less than a month.