Monday, April 23, 2018

A Few Comments on March Existing Home Sales

by Bill McBride on 4/23/2018 01:03:00 PM

Earlier: NAR: "Existing-Home Sales Climb 1.1 Percent in March"

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 March.

2) Inventory is still very low and falling year-over-year (down 7.2% year-over-year in March). More inventory would probably mean smaller price increases, and less inventory somewhat larger price increases.    This was the 34th 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 March (434,000, red column) were above sales in March 2017 (355,000, NSA).

Sales through March are down about 2% from the same period in 2017.   This is a small decline - and it is too early to tell if there is an impact from higher interest rates and / or the changes to the tax law on home sales.