Wednesday, May 24, 2017

NAR: "Existing-Home Sales Slip 2.3 Percent in April"

by Bill McBride on 5/24/2017 10:13:00 AM

From the NAR: Existing-Home Sales Slip 2.3 Percent in April; Days on Market Falls to Under a Month

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, dipped 2.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million in April from a downwardly revised 5.70 million in March. Despite last month's decline, sales are still 1.6 percent above a year ago and at the fourth highest pace over the past year.
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Total housing inventory at the end of April climbed 7.2 percent to 1.93 million existing homes available for sale, but is still 9.0 percent lower than a year ago (2.12 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 23 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.6 months a year ago.
emphasis added
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 April (5.57 million SAAR) were 2.3% lower than last month, and were 1.6% above the April 2016 rate.

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

Existing Home Inventory According to the NAR, inventory increased to 1.93 million in April from 1.80 million in March.   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 last 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 9.0% year-over-year in April compared to April 2016.  

Months of supply was at 4.2 months in April.

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