Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A Few Comments on November Existing Home Sales

by Bill McBride on 12/20/2017 01:52:00 PM

Earlier: NAR: "Existing-Home Sales Soar 5.6 Percent in November"

A few key points:

1) As usual, housing economist Tom Lawler's forecast was closer to the NAR report than the consensus.  See: Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in November. The consensus was for sales of 5.52 million SAAR in November.  Lawler estimated 5.77 million, and the NAR reported 5.81 million.

""Based on what I've seen so far, I project that existing home sales as estimated by the National Association of Realtors ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.77 million in November."
2) There might have been some bounce back in November from the hurricanes.

3) Inventory is still very low and falling year-over-year (down 9.7% year-over-year in November). More inventory would probably mean smaller price increases, and less inventory somewhat larger price increases.    This was the 30th consecutive month with a year-over-year decline in inventory.

The following graph shows existing home sales Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA).

Existing Home Sales NSAClick on graph for larger image.

Sales NSA in November (427,000, red column) were above sales in November 2016 (418,000, NSA) and at the highest level for November since 2006 (472,000).

Sales NSA are now slowing seasonally, and sales NSA will be lower through February.