The extreme shortage of homes for sale reached a new low in April, but strength in the construction of newly built homes may ease the pain for home buyers in some markets.

Active listings, which refer to the number of homes for sale during a particular time period, fell 47 percent during the four-week period that ended April 11 — a new historic low level compared with that same period in 2019, according to Redfin real estate brokerage. The severe disruption of the housing market during the early months of the pandemic makes year-over-year comparisons with months in spring 2020 less reliable, so some data is compared with 2019 rather than 2020.

Redfin’s report also shows listing prices reached a record high of $353,750 in April 2020. In addition, 43 percent of homes sold for more than their asking price, and 59 percent of homes sold within two weeks of being listed for sale. Both of those statistics are historic highs in Redfin’s data.

Buyer demand shows no signs of slowing. Redfin’s buyer demand index rose 4.3 percent in April compared with March.

One bright spot for buyers is that housing construction in March reached the fastest pace since June 2006, according to Census Bureau data. Housing starts on single-family homes, which refer to construction beginning if development stays at the same pace for the next 12 months, rose 15.3 percent in March compared with February to an annual rate of 1.24 million homes.

Single-family home starts were up 19.6 percent during the first quarter of 2021 compared with the first quarter of 2020.

New home permits, which refer to permission to build given by local jurisdictions, were also up for single-family homes by 4.6 percent in March compared with February.

Regionally, construction permits rose most in the South, at 6.4 percent higher in March compared with February, followed by the Midwest at 2 percent higher. Permits held steady in the West and dropped 8 percent in the Northeast.

New-home sales were also strong in March, up 20.7 percent compared with February to an annual rate of 1,021,000, according to the Census Bureau, and up 66.8 percent in March 2021 compared with March 2020.

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