Monday, December 22, 2014

Existing Home Sales in November: 4.93 million SAAR, Inventory up 2.0% Year-over-year

by Bill McBride on 12/22/2014 10:00:00 AM

The NAR reports: Existing-Home Sales Lose Momentum in November as Inventory Slightly Tightens

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, fell 6.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.93 million in November from a downwardly-revised 5.25 million in October. Sales dropped to their lowest annual pace since May (4.91 million) but are above year-over-year levels (up 2.1 percent from last November) for the second straight month. ...

Total housing inventory at the end of November fell 6.7 percent to 2.09 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 5.1-month supply at the current sales pace – unchanged from last month. Despite the tightening in supply, unsold inventory remains 2.0 percent higher than a year ago, when there were 2.05 million existing homes available for sale.
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 (4.93 million SAAR) were 6.1% lower than last month, and were 2.1% above the November 2013 rate.

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

Existing Home Inventory According to the NAR, inventory decreased to 2.09 million in November from 2.24 million in October.   Headline 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 2.0% year-over-year in November compared to November 2013.  

Months of supply was at 5.1 months in November.

This was below expectations of sales of 5.20 million (but you were warned).  For existing home sales, the key number is inventory - and inventory is still low, but up year-over-year.    I'll have more later ...