Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Few Comments on January Existing Home Sales

by Bill McBride on 2/23/2016 03:56:00 PM

The January existing home sales report was stronger than expected, and even slightly stronger than the December report (that included a rebound from the decline in November related to the new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID)).   Note: TILA: Truth in Lending Act, and RESPA: the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974.

Going forward, there are some economic reasons for some softness in existing home sales in certain areas. Low inventory is probably holding down sales in many areas, and there will be weakness in some oil producing areas (see: Houston has a problem).

Earlier: Existing Home Sales increased in January to 5.47 million SAAR

I expected some increase in inventory last year, but that didn't happened.  Inventory is still very low and falling year-over-year (down 2.2% year-over-year in January). More inventory would probably mean smaller price increases and slightly higher sales, and less inventory means lower sales and somewhat larger price increases.

The following graph shows existing home sales Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA).

Existing Home Sales NSAClick on graph for larger image.

Sales NSA in January (red column) were the highest since January 2007 (NSA).

This is a solid start to 2016.