Thursday, April 19, 2018

Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in March

by Bill McBride on 4/19/2018 02:21:00 PM

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

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 5.51 million in March, down 0.5% from February’s preliminary pace and down 2.8% from last March’s seasonally adjusted pace. Unadjusted sales should show a larger YOY decline, reflecting this March’s lower business day count relative to last March’s.

Local realtor/MLS data indicate that the inventory of existing homes for sale in March was down from a year ago but that the YOY decline in March was less than that in February, and I project that the NAR’s estimate of the number of existing homes for sale at the end of March was 1.67 million, up 5.0% from February’s preliminary estimate and down 7.2% from last March.

Finally, local realtor/MLS data suggest the median US existing single-family home sales price last month was up about 7.1% from last March. Note, however, that of late the NAR’s median existing home sales prices have shown lower YOY gains than local realtor/MLS data would have suggested, for reasons that are not clear.

CR Note: Existing home sales for March are scheduled to be released by the NAR on Monday.