Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in September

by Bill McBride on 10/15/2011 01:37:00 PM

From economist Tom Lawler:

Based on the information I have so far from local realtor associations/MLS/boards, I estimate that existing home sales as calculated by the National Association of Realtors ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate [SAAR] of around 4.80 million, down 4.6% from August’s pace, but pretty darned close to the average monthly sales pace for the past four months. Existing home inventories clearly declined significantly from August to September, and while available listings data and the NAR inventory numbers often don’t “track” well month to month, my best guess is that the NAR inventory number for September will be down by about 3.8%, which would put the YOY inventory drop as measured by the NAR to about 14%.
CR Note: The NAR will release September Existing-Home Sales on Thursday, Oct 20th at 10:00 AM ET. The consensus forecast is for 4.93 million sales in September (SAAR).

Based on Tom's estimate, inventory would fall to 3.44 million in September, down from 3.58 million in August, and months-of-supply would increase to 8.6 months from 8.5 months in August. This would be the lowest level inventory for September since 2005 (2.77 million in Sept 2005). The peak inventory for September was in 2007 at 4.37 million.

Summary for Week Ending Oct 14th