Friday, May 15, 2015

Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in April

by Bill McBride on 5/15/2015 12:47:00 PM

From housing economist Tom Lawler:

Based on available local realtor association/MLS reports from across the country, I estimate that US existing home sales as measured by the National Association of Realtors ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.20 million in April, up 0.2% from March’s pace and up 9.5% from last April’s seasonally-adjusted pace.

On the inventory front, local realtor/MLS reports suggest that the monthly gain in the inventory of existing homes for sale last month was smaller than last April’s huge jump, and I project that the NAR’s existing home inventory estimate for April will be 2.23 million, up 11.5% from March but unchanged from last April. I should point out that the NAR’s inventory estimate for April has for many years showed a larger monthly gain – and the May estimate a smaller gain/larger decline – than local realtor/MLS reports would suggest. I’m not sure why, but the differences may reflect different “pull dates” for the publicly-released reports relative to the “NAR” reports realtor associations/MLS send to the NAR.

Finally, local realtor/MLS reports suggest that the median single-family home sales price for April as estimated by the NAR was up about 8.5% from last April.

CR Note: The NAR is scheduled to release April existing home sales on Thursday, May 21st.