Thursday, August 24, 2017

NAR: "Existing-Home Sales Slide 1.3 Percent in July"

by Bill McBride on 8/24/2017 10:13:00 AM

From the NAR: Existing-Home Sales Slide 1.3 Percent in July

Listings in July typically went under contract in under 30 days for the fourth consecutive month because of high buyer demand, but existing-home sales ultimately pulled back as large declines in the Northeast and Midwest outweighed sales increases in the South and West, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, slipped 1.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.44 million in July from a downwardly revised 5.51 million in June. July’s sales pace is still 2.1 percent above a year ago, but is the lowest of 2017.
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Total housing inventory at the end of July declined 1.0 percent to 1.92 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 9.0 percent lower than a year ago (2.11 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 26 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.8 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 July (5.44 million SAAR) were 1.3% lower than last month, and were 2.1% above the July 2016 rate.

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

Existing Home Inventory According to the NAR, inventory decreased to 1.92 million in July from 1.94 million in June.   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 July compared to July 2016.  

Months of supply was at 4.2 months in July.

As expected, sales were below the consensus view. For existing home sales, a key number is inventory - and inventory is still low. I'll have more later ...