Thursday, October 20, 2016

Existing Home Sales increased in September to 5.47 million SAAR

by Bill McBride on 10/20/2016 10:12:00 AM

From the NAR: First-time Buyers Steer Existing-Home Sales Higher in September

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, hiked 3.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.47 million in September from a downwardly revised 5.30 million in August. After last month's gain, sales are at their highest pace since June (5.57 million) and are 0.6 percent above a year ago (5.44 million)....

Total housing inventory at the end of September rose 1.5 percent to 2.04 million existing homes available for sale, but is still 6.8 percent lower than a year ago (2.19 million) and has now fallen year-over-year for 16 straight months. Unsold inventory is at a 4.5-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.6 months in August.
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 September (5.47 million SAAR) were 3.2% higher than last month, and were 0.6% above the September 2015 rate.

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

Existing Home Inventory According to the NAR, inventory increased to 2.04 million in September from 2.01 million in August.   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 6.8% year-over-year in September compared to September 2015.  

Months of supply was at 4.5 months in September.

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