Monday, September 18, 2017

Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in August

by Bill McBride on 9/18/2017 02:32:00 PM

From housing economist Tom Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in August

Based on publicly-available state and local realtor reports from across the country released through today, I project that US existing home sales as estimated by the National Association of Realtors ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million in August, down 0.9% from July’s estimated pace and up 0.9% from last August’s seasonally adjusted pace. Local realtor data suggest that the inventory of existing homes for sale was down from July to August but that the YOY decline was slightly less than that seen in July, and I project that the NAR’s estimate of the inventory of existing homes for sale at the end of August will be 1.86 million, down 3.1% from July’s preliminary estimate and down 7.5% from last August. Finally, local realtor data suggest that the NAR’s estimate of the median existing SF home sales price last month will by up by about 6.0% from a year earlier.

Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in the latter part of August, and home sales in Houston were down by about 25% from last August’s pace. The impact on September sales will be greater. Hurricane Irma was a September event, and did not appear to impact August closings in Florida at all. The impact on September closings, however, could be considerable.

CR Note: The NAR is scheduled to release August existing home sales on Wednesday. The consensus is for 5.48 million SAAR, so take the under.