Monday, March 19, 2018

Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in February

by Bill McBride on 3/19/2018 03:19:00 PM

From housing economist Tom Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in February

Based on publicly-available local realtor/MLS reports from across the country released through today, I project that existing home sales as estimated by the National Association of Realtors ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.44 million in February, up 1.1% from January’s preliminary pace and down 0.5% from last February’s seasonally adjusted pace.

On the inventory front, realtor/MLS data suggest that home listings showed a similar YOY decline last month compared to January, and my “best guess” is that the NAR’s estimate of the inventory of existing homes for sale in January will be 1.57 million, up 3.3% from January’s preliminary estimate and down 9.2% from last February.

Finally, local realtor/MLS data would be consistent with a YOY increase in the NAR’s estimate of the median existing SF home sales price of about 7.5%. I should note that lately the NAR’s estimated YOY gain in median existing SF home sale prices has been south of what local realtor data would have suggested, though I do not know why.

CR Note: Existing home sales for February are scheduled to be released by the NAR on Wednesday.  The consensus is for 5.42 million SAAR, up from 5.38 million in January.