Thursday, April 22, 2010

More on Existing Home Sales and Inventory

by Bill McBride on 4/22/2010 11:19:00 AM

Earlier the NAR released the existing home sales data for March; here are a couple more graphs ...

The first graph shows the year-over-year change in reported existing home inventory and months-of-supply.

Year-over-year Inventory Click on graph for larger image in new window.

There was a rapid increase in inventory in the 2nd half of 2005 (that helped me call the peak of the bubble). Then the increase in inventory steadily slowed.

The YoY inventory has been decreasing for the last 20 months. However the YoY decline is getting smaller - only 1.8% in March.

This slow decline in the inventory is especially concerning with the large reported inventory and 8.0 months of supply in March - well above normal. Of course months of supply will decline over the next few months because of the increase in sales due to the tax credit, but this will be something to watch this summer and later this year.

Existing Home Sales NSA The second graph shows NSA monthly existing home sales for 2005 through 2010 (see Red columns for 2010).

Sales (NSA) in March 2010 were 19.6% higher than in March 2009, and also higher than in March 2008.

We will probably see an increase in sales in May and June - perhaps to the levels of 2006 or 2007 - because of the tax credit, however I expect to see existing home sales below last year in the 2nd half of this year.