Friday, January 19, 2018

Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in December

by Bill McBride on 1/19/2018 04:15:00 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 5.66 million in December, down 2.6% from November’s preliminary pace and up 2.7% from last month’s seasonally adjusted pace. Unadjusted sales last month should be down slightly from a year ago, with the “SA/NSA” gap reflecting this year’s lower business day count compared to last year’s.

On the inventory front, realtor/MLS data suggest that inventories in December were down YOY by about a little more than was the case in November, and my “best guess” is that the NAR’s inventory estimate for December will be 1.48 million, down 11.4% from November’s estimate and down 10.3% from last December.

Finally, realtor/MLS data suggest the the NAR’s estimate for the median existing home sales price in November will be up by about 6.5% from last December.

CR Note: Existing home sales for December are scheduled to be released on Wednesday, January 24th. The consensus is for sales of 5.68 million SAAR.