Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Existing Home Sales declined in November to 4.76 million SAAR

by Bill McBride on 12/22/2015 10:11:00 AM

From the NAR: Existing-Home Sales Suffer Setback in November, Fall to Slowest Pace Since April 2014

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, fell 10.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.76 million in November (lowest since April 2014 at 4.75 million) from a downwardly revised 5.32 million in October. After last month's decline (largest since July 2010 at 22.5 percent), sales are now 3.8 percent below a year ago — the first year-over-year decrease since September 2014. ...

Total housing inventory at the end of November decreased 3.3 percent to 2.04 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 1.9 percent lower than a year ago (2.08 million). Unsold inventory is at a 5.1-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 4.8 months in October.
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 (4.76 million SAAR) were 10.5% lower than last month, and were 3.8% below the November 2014 rate.

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

Existing Home Inventory According to the NAR, inventory decreased to 2.04 million in November from 2.11 million in October.   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 1.9% year-over-year in November compared to November 2014.  

Months of supply was at 5.1 months in November.

This was below consensus expectations of sales of 5.32 million (but not a surprise for CR readers). For existing home sales, a key number is inventory - and inventory is still low. I'll have more later ...