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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Existing Homes: Sales Strong, Inventories Rise Seasonally

by Calculated Risk on 10/25/2005 10:40:00 AM

UPDATE: Add Graph of Year over Year inventory increase.

Click on graph for larger image.

Inventories were up slightly from August to 2.849 million units. This represents an increase of 19.6% over last September. Usually inventories decline in September after the summer selling season. For comparison, August was up 12.2% Year over year, so seasonally this indicates a significant increase in inventories.

Reuters reports: Sept existing home sales flat

Sales of existing U.S. homes were unchanged in September at a 7.28 million unit pace, as strong post-Katrina sales in the U.S. South helped offset weaker activity elsewhere, a trade group said on Tuesday.

Sales of the previously owned homes were flat compared with August's downwardly revised 7.28 million unit pace, the National Association of Realtors said. That figure includes both single-family homes and condominiums.

Analysts had expected overall sales to decline to a 7.20 million unit pace from the originally reported 7.29 million unit pace in August.

Sales would have been lower in September without the strong purchase activity reported for areas around the hurricane-hit zone, the Realtors' chief economist said. For example, while sales dropped 85 percent in New Orleans, Baton Rouge reported a 150 percent increase, the group said.
Median prices declined to $212K, the lowest since May, probably because of the strong activity in the South. Average prices also decreased to $260K, the lowest since May.