Thursday, December 19, 2013

Existing Home Sales in November: 4.90 million SAAR, Inventory up 5.0% Year-over-year

by Bill McBride on 12/19/2013 10:00:00 AM

The NAR reports: Existing-Home Sales Decline in November, but Strong Price Gains Continue

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, dropped 4.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.90 million in November from 5.12 million in October, and are 1.2 percent below the 4.96 million-unit pace in November 2012. This is the first time in 29 months that sales were below year-ago levels.
...
Total housing inventory at the end of November declined 0.9 percent to 2.09 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 5.1-month supply at the current sales pace, compared with 4.9 months in October. Unsold inventory is 5.0 percent above a year ago, when there was a 4.8-month supply.
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 November 2013 (4.90 million SAAR) were 4.3% lower than last month, and were 1.2% below the November 2012 rate.

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

Existing Home InventoryAccording to the NAR, inventory was declined to 2.09 million in November from 2.11 million in October.   Inventory is not seasonally adjusted, and inventory usually increases from the seasonal lows in December and January, and peaks in mid-to-late summer.

The third 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 increased 5.0% year-over-year in November compared to November 2012.   The year-over-year change for October was revised down to unchanged, so this is the first year-over-year increase in inventory since early 2011 and indicates inventory bottomed earlier this year.

Months of supply was at 5.1 months in November.

This was below to expectations of sales of 5.04 million.  For existing home sales, the key number is inventory - and inventory is still low, but up year-over-year.    I'll have more later ...