Thursday, September 22, 2016

Existing Home Sales decreased in August to 5.33 million SAAR

by Bill McBride on 9/22/2016 10:11:00 AM

Update: Headline typo fixed.

From the NAR: Existing-Home Sales Soften Further in August

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, declined 0.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.33 million in August from a downwardly revised 5.38 million in July. After last month's decline, sales are at their second-lowest pace of 2016, but are still slightly higher (0.8 percent) than a year ago (5.29 million). ...

Total housing inventory at the end of August fell 3.3 percent to 2.04 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 10.1 percent lower than a year ago (2.27 million) and has declined year-over-year for 15 straight months. Unsold inventory is at a 4.6-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.7 months in July.
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 August (5.33 million SAAR) were 0.9% lower than last month, and were 0.8% above the August 2015 rate.

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

Existing Home Inventory According to the NAR, inventory decreased to 2.04 million in August from 2.11 million in July.   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 10.1% year-over-year in August compared to August 2015.  

Months of supply was at 4.6 months in August.

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