Friday, January 23, 2015

Existing Home Sales in December: 5.04 million SAAR, Inventory down slightly Year-over-year

by Bill McBride on 1/23/2015 10:00:00 AM

The NAR reports: Existing-Home Sales Rebound in December, 2014 Total Sales Finish 3 Percent Below 2013

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 2.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million in December from a downwardly-revised 4.92 million in November. From a year ago, December sales were higher by 3.5 percent and are now above year-over-year levels for the third straight month. ...

Total housing inventory at the end of December dropped 11.1 percent to 1.85 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 4.4-month supply at the current sales pace – down from 5.1 months in November. Unsold inventory is now 0.5 percent lower than a year ago (1.86 million).
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 December (4.93 million SAAR) were 2.4% higher than last month, and were 3.5% above the December 2013 rate.

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

Existing Home Inventory According to the NAR, inventory decreased to 1.85 million in December from 2.08 million in November.   Headline inventory is not seasonally adjusted, and inventory usually decreases to 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 decreased 0.5% year-over-year in December compared to December 2013.  

Months of supply was at 4.4 months in December.

This was at expectations of sales of 5.05 million.  For existing home sales, the key number is inventory - and inventory is still low.    I'll have more later ...