Thursday, September 23, 2010

Existing Home Sales at 4.1 million SAAR, 11.6 months of supply

by Calculated Risk on 9/23/2010 10:00:00 AM

The NAR reports: Existing-Home Sales Move Up in August

Existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 7.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.13 million in August from an upwardly revised 3.84 million in July, but remain 19.0 percent below the 5.10 million-unit pace in August 2009.
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Total housing inventory at the end of August slipped 0.6 percent to 3.98 million existing homes available for sale, which represents an 11.6-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 12.5-month supply in July.
Existing Home Sales Click on graph for larger image in new window.

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

Sales in August 2010 (4.13 million SAAR) were 7.6% higher than last month, and were 19.0% lower than August 2009 (5.1 million SAAR).

Existing Home InventoryThe second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

According to the NAR, inventory decreased slightly to 3.98 million in August from 4.01 million in July. The all time record high was 4.58 million homes for sale in July 2008.

Inventory is not seasonally adjusted and there is a clear seasonal pattern with inventory increasing in the spring and into the summer. I'll have more on inventory later ...

Existing Home Sales Months of SupplyThe last graph shows the 'months of supply' metric.

Months of supply decreased to 11.6 months in August from 12.5 months in July. This is extremely high and suggests prices, as measured by the repeat sales indexes like Case-Shiller and CoreLogic, will continue to decline.

These weak numbers are exactly what I expected. Ignore the median price! Double digit supply and the low sales rate are the key stories. I'll have more ...