Wednesday, March 21, 2018

A Few Comments on February Existing Home Sales

by Bill McBride on 3/21/2018 03:46:00 PM

Earlier: NAR: "Existing-Home Sales Rebound 3.0 Percent in February"

A few key points:

1) As usual, housing economist Tom Lawler's forecast was closer to the NAR report than the consensus (although only slightly closer this month). See: Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in January.

2) Inventory is still very low and falling year-over-year (down 8.1% year-over-year in February). More inventory would probably mean smaller price increases, and less inventory somewhat larger price increases.    This was the 33rd 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 February (319,000, red column) were above sales in February 2017 (315,000, NSA).

Sales NSA are always low in January and February, and we will have to wait until March - at the earliest - to draw any conclusions about the impact of higher interest rates and the new tax law on home sales.