Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Existing Home Sales in February: 4.59 million SAAR, 6.4 months of supply

by Bill McBride on 3/21/2012 10:00:00 AM

The NAR reports: February Existing-Home Sales Slip But Up Strongly From a Year Ago

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, slipped 0.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.59 million in February from an upwardly revised 4.63 million in January [revised up from 4.57], but are 8.8 percent higher than the 4.22 million-unit level in February 2011.
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Total housing inventory at the end of February rose 4.3 percent to 2.43 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 6.4-month supply at the current sales pace, up from a 6.0-month supply in January. Even so, unsold listed inventory has trended down from a record 4.04 million in July 2007, and is 19.3 percent below a year ago.
Existing Home SalesClick on graph for larger image.

This graph shows existing home sales, on a Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) basis since 1993.

Sales in February 2012 (4.59 million SAAR) were 0.9% lower than last month, and were 8.8% above the February 2011 rate.

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

Existing Home InventoryAccording to the NAR, inventory increased to 2.43 million in February from 2.33 million in January. Inventory is not seasonally adjusted, and usually inventory increases from the seasonal lows in December and January to the seasonal high in mid-summer.

The last graph shows the year-over-year (YoY) change in reported existing home inventory and months-of-supply. Since inventory is not seasonally adjusted, it really helps to look at the YoY change. Note: Months-of-supply is based on the seasonally adjusted sales and not seasonally adjusted inventory.

Year-over-year Inventory Inventory decreased 19.3% year-over-year in February from February 2011. This is the twelfth consecutive month with a YoY decrease in inventory.

Months of supply increased to 6.4 months in February, up from 6.0 months in January.

This was close to expectations of sales of 4.61 million.

All current Existing Home Sales graphs

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