Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Existing Home Sales in April

by Calculated Risk on 5/27/2009 10:00:00 AM

The NAR reports: Existing-Home Sales Rise in April

Existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – increased 2.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.68 million units in April from a downwardly revised pace of 4.55 million units in March, but were 3.5 percent below the 4.85 million-unit level in April 2008.
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Total housing inventory at the end of April rose 8.8 percent to 3.97 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 10.2 month supply at the current sales pace, compared with a 9.6-month supply in March.
Existing Home Sales Click on graph for larger image in new window.

The first graph shows existing home sales, on a Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) basis since 1993.

Sales in April 2009 (4.68 million SAAR) were 2.9% higher than last month, and were 3.5% lower than April 2008 (4.85 million SAAR).

It's important to note that close to half of these sales were foreclosure resales or short sales. Although these are real transactions, this means activity (ex-distressed sales) is under 3 million units SAAR.

Existing Home Inventory The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes. According to the NAR, inventory increased to 3.97 million in April. The all time record was 4.57 million homes for sale in July 2008. This is not seasonally adjusted.

Typically inventory increases in April, and then really increases over the next few months of the year until peaking in the summer. This increase in inventory was probably seasonal, and the next few months will be key for inventory.

Also, many REOs (bank owned properties) are included in the inventory because they are listed - but not all. Recently there have been stories about a substantial number of unlisted REOs - this is possible.

Existing Home Sales Months of SupplyThe third graph shows the 'months of supply' metric for the last six years.

Months of supply was up to 10.2 months.

Even though sales also increased slightly, inventory also increased, so "months of supply" increased slightly.

I'll have more on existing home sales soon ...