Thursday, September 22, 2016

Lawler on August Existing Home Sales

by Bill McBride on 9/22/2016 06:49:00 PM

From housing economist Tom Lawler:

In a report released this morning, the National Association of Realtors estimated that US existing home sales ran a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.33 million, down 0.9% from July’s downwardly revised (to 5.38 million from 5.39 million) pace and up 0.8% from last August’s seasonally adjusted pace. The NAR’s estimate was well below my above-consensus projection from last week (5.49 million) based on then-available local realtor/MLS reports.

My unusually large “miss” was partly attributable to an under-estimate of the “gap” between the growth in unadjusted home sales compared to seasonally adjusted sales. According to NAR estimates, the YOY growth in unadjusted home sales last month was7.3%, or 6.5 percentage points higher than the YOY increase in seasonally adjusted sales. I had assumed a “gap” of 4.7 percentage points. (This August had two more business days than last August).

In addition, local realtor/MLS reports released since last week (including quite a few released today) showed somewhat lower home sales than I had been assuming for those areas. And finally, even after incorporating local realtor/MLS reports released through today, my “tracking” suggests somewhat faster YOY growth in home sales than that shown by the NAR.

I apologize for my miss this month.

On the inventory front, the NAR estimated that the inventory of existing homes for sale at the end of August totaled 2.04 million, down 3.3% from July and down 10.1% from last August.

Finally, the NAR estimated that the median existing SF home sales price last month was $242.200, up 5.3% from last August.

YOY % Change, Existing Home Sales (NAR Estimate)
  Not Seasonally AdjustedSeasonally Adjusted
July-6.9%-1.8%
Aug7.3%0.8%
July-August Average-0.1%-0.6%