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Friday, May 29, 2009

Home Sales Ratio: Existing to New

by Calculated Risk on 5/29/2009 10:02:00 AM

Yesterday I posted a graph labeled the distressing gap showing that existing home sales have held up much better during the housing bust than new home sales - probably because of distressed sales (foreclosure resales and short sales).

Ratio: Existing home sale to new home sales Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows the same information, but as a ratio for existing home sales divided by new home sales (ht Michael)

The recent change in the ratio is probably related to distressed sales - home builders cannot compete with REO sales, and this has pushed down new home sales while keeping existing home sales activity elevated.

Although distressed sales will stay elevated from some time, eventually I expect this ratio to decline - with a combination of falling existing home sales and eventually rising new home sales.

Ratio: Existing home sale to new home sales The second graph shows the ratio back to 1969 (annual data before 1994).

Note: the NAR has changed their data collection over time and the older data does not include condos: Single-family data collection began monthly in 1968, while condo data collection began quarterly in 1981; the series were combined in 1999 when monthly collection of condo data began.