Friday, October 20, 2017

NAR: "Existing-Home Sales Inch 0.7 Percent Higher in September"

by Bill McBride on 10/20/2017 10:17:00 AM

From the NAR: Existing-Home Sales Inch 0.7 Percent Higher in September

After three straight monthly declines, existing-home sales slightly reversed course in September, but ongoing supply shortages and recent hurricanes muted overall activity and caused sales to fall back on an annual basis, 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, rose 0.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million in September from 5.35 million in August. Last month's sales pace is 1.5 percent below a year ago and is the second slowest over the past year (behind August).
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Total housing inventory at the end of September rose 1.6 percent to 1.90 million existing homes available for sale, but still remains 6.4 percent lower than a year ago (2.03 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 28 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.5 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 September (5.39 million SAAR) were 0.7% higher than last month, and were 1.5% below the September 2016 rate.

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

Existing Home Inventory According to the NAR, inventory increased to 1.90 million in September from 1.87 million in August.   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 6.4% year-over-year in September compared to September 2016.  

Months of supply was at 4.2 months in September.

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