Thursday, March 20, 2014

Existing Home Sales in February: 4.60 million SAAR, Inventory up 5.3% Year-over-year

by Bill McBride on 3/20/2014 10:00:00 AM

The NAR reports: February Existing-Home Sales Remain Subdued

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, declined 0.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.60 million in February from 4.62 million in January, and 7.1 percent below the 4.95 million-unit level in February 2013. February’s pace of sales was the lowest since July 2012, when it stood at 4.59 million.
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Total housing inventory at the end of February rose 6.4 percent to 2.00 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 5.2-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 4.9 months in January. Unsold inventory is 5.3 percent above a year ago, when there was a 4.6-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 February (4.60 million SAAR) were slightly lower than last month, and were 7.1% below the February 2013 rate.

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

Existing Home InventoryAccording to the NAR, inventory increased to 2.00 million in February from 1.88 million in January.   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 5.3% year-over-year in February compared to February 2013.   This year-over-year increase in inventory suggests inventory bottomed early last year.

Months of supply was at 5.2 months in February.

This was slightly below expectations of sales of 4.64 million.  For existing home sales, the key number is inventory - and the key story is inventory is still low, but up year-over-year.    I'll have more later ...

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