Wednesday, June 21, 2017

NAR: "Existing-Home Sales Rise 1.1 Percent in May"

by Bill McBride on 6/21/2017 10:11:00 AM

From the NAR: Existing-Home Sales Rise 1.1 Percent in May; Median Sales Price Ascends to New High

Existing-home sales rebounded in May following a notable decline in April, and low inventory levels helped propel the median sales price to a new high while pushing down the median days a home is on the market to a new low, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All major regions except for the Midwest saw an increase in sales last month.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, climbed 1.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.62 million in May from a downwardly revised 5.56 million in April. Last month's sales pace is 2.7 percent above a year ago and is the third highest over the past year.  
...
Total housing inventory at the end of May rose 2.1 percent to 1.96 million existing homes available for sale, but is still 8.4 percent lower than a year ago (2.14 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 24 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.7 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 May (5.63 million SAAR) were 1.1% higher than last month, and were 2.7% above the May 2016 rate.

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

Existing Home Inventory According to the NAR, inventory increased to 1.96 million in May from 1.92 million in April.   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 8.4% year-over-year in May compared to May 2016.  

Months of supply was at 4.2 months in May.

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