Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Existing Home Sales increased in November to 5.61 million SAAR

by Bill McBride on 12/21/2016 10:10:00 AM

From the NAR: Existing-Home Sales Forge Ahead in November

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 0.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.61 million in November from a downwardly revised 5.57 million in October. November's sales pace is now the highest since February 2007 (5.79 million) and is 15.4 percent higher than a year ago (4.86 million). ...

Total housing inventory at the end of November dropped 8.0 percent to 1.85 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 9.3 percent lower than a year ago (2.04 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 18 straight months. Unsold inventory is at a 4.0-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.3 months in October.
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 November (5.61 million SAAR) were 0.7% higher than last month, and were 15.4% above the November 2015 rate.

Note: Sales in November 2015 were depressed for one month by a change in regulations, so the year-over-year gain was very strong.

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

Existing Home Inventory According to the NAR, inventory decreased to 1.85 million in November from 2.01 million in October.   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 9.3% year-over-year in November compared to November 2015.  

Months of supply was at 4.0 months in November.

This was above consensus expectations (at economist Tom Lawler's forecast). For existing home sales, a key number is inventory - and inventory is still low. I'll have more later ...