Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in September

by Bill McBride on 10/17/2017 01:21:00 PM

From housing economist Tom Lawler:

Based on publicly-available state and local realtor/MLS reports from across the country released through today, I predict that US existing home sales as estimated by the National Association of Realtors ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.38 million in September, up 0.6% from August’s estimated pace but down 1.6% from last September’s seasonally adjusted pace. Unadjusted sales should show a larger YOY decline, reflecting the lower business day count this September compared to last September. Hurricane Irma has a sizable impact on home sales in Florida, where I estimate sales were down by over 20% YOY. Surprisingly, however, residential sales in Houston were up 3.4% YOY, apparently reflecting the partial “spillover” in hurricane-related delayed closings in August (Harvey hit Houston in the latter part of August). For the combined August/September period home sales in Houston were down 12.5% from the comparable period of last year.

On the inventory front, local realtor/MLS data suggest that the NAR’s estimate of the number of existing homes for sale at the end of September will be about 1.88 million, unchanged from August’s preliminary estimate and down 7.4% from a year earlier.

Finally, realtor/MLS data suggest that the NAR’s estimate of the median existing SF home sales price last month was up 6.0% from last September.

CR Note: Existing home sales for September are scheduled to be released this Friday. The consensus is for sales of 5.30 million SAAR.