Friday, August 21, 2009

Existing Home Sales increase in July

by Calculated Risk on 8/21/2009 10:00:00 AM

The NAR reports: Strong Gain in Existing-Home Sales Maintains Uptrend

Existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – rose 7.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.24 million units in July from a level of 4.89 million in June, and are 5.0 percent above the 4.99 million-unit pace in July 2008.
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Total housing inventory at the end of July rose 7.3 percent to 4.09 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 9.4-month supply at the current sales pace, which was unchanged from June because of the strong sales gain.
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 July 2009 (5.24 million SAAR) were 7.2% higher than last month, and were 5.0% lower than July 2008 (4.99 million SAAR).

Here is another way to look at existing homes sales: Monthly, Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA):

Existing Home Sales NSA This graph shows NSA monthly existing home sales for 2005 through 2009. As in June, sales (NSA) were slightly higher in July 2009 than in July 2008.

It's important to note that many of these transactions are either investors or first-time homebuyers. Also many of the sales are distressed sales (short sales or REOs).

Existing Home Inventory The third graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes. According to the NAR, inventory increased to 4.09 million in July. The all time record was 4.57 million homes for sale in July 2008. This is not seasonally adjusted.

Typically inventory peaks in July or August. This increase in inventory was a little more than usual.

Note: 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 and other shadow inventory - so this inventory number is probably low.

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

Months of supply was steady at 9.4 months.

Sales increased, and inventory increased, so "months of supply" was steady. A normal market has under 6 months of supply, so this is still very high.

Note: New Home sales will be released next Wednesday.