Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Existing Home Sales increased in January to 5.47 million SAAR

by Bill McBride on 2/23/2016 10:10:00 AM

From the NAR: Existing-Home Sales Inch Forward in January, Price Growth Accelerates

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, inched 0.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.47 million in January from a downwardly revised 5.45 million in December. Sales are now 11.0 percent higher than a year ago – the largest year-over-year gain since July 2013 (16.3 percent)....

Total housing inventory at the end of January increased 3.4 percent to 1.82 million existing homes available for sale, but is still 2.2 percent lower than a year ago (1.86 million). Unsold inventory is at a 4.0-month supply at the current sales pace, up slightly from 3.9 months in December 2015.
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 January (5.47 million SAAR) were 0.4% hgiher than last month, and were 11.0% above the January 2015 rate.

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

Existing Home Inventory According to the NAR, inventory increased to 1.82 million in January from 1.76 million in December.   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 2.2% year-over-year in January compared to January 2015.  

Months of supply was at 4.0 months in January.

This was above consensus expectations of sales of 5.32 million. For existing home sales, a key number is inventory - and inventory is still low. I'll have more later ...