Friday, July 12, 2013

Lawler: Early Look at Existing Home Sales in June

by Bill McBride on 7/12/2013 01:40:00 PM

From housing economist Tom Lawler:

Based on the limited number of local realtor/MLS reports I’ve seen so far, I estimate that existing home sales as measured by the National Association of Realtors ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 4.99 million in June, down 3.7% from May’s pace. While sales results varied massively across the country, there were several areas where YOY sales slowed by much more than “seasonals/day-counts” would have suggested. Note that I usually wait until I have a larger “sample” of regional reports, and I’ll update my estimate early next week.

On the inventory front, most but not all reports showed a monthly gain in listings in June, and just looking at listings data one would expect that national home-sales inventories in June [increased] by about a little more than 2%. Taking into account differences over time in NAR estimates vs. listings data, however, I’d estimate that the NAR estimate of the number of existing homes for sale in June will be unchanged from May, which would imply a YOY decline of 6.3%.

CR Note: The NAR is scheduled to report June existing home sales on Monday, July 22nd.

Based on Tom's estimates, this would put inventory at around 2.2 million for June, and months-of-supply around 5.3 (up from 5.1 months in May). This would still be a very low level of inventory - probably the lowest for May since 2002 or so - but a 6.3% year-over-year decline in inventory would be the smallest year-over-year decline since early 2011 (when inventory started to decline sharply).  Note: In May, inventory was down 10.1% compared to May 2012.   These smaller year-over-year declines suggest inventory bottomed earlier this year.

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