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Monday, October 25, 2010

September Existing Home Sales: 4.53 million SAAR, 10.7 months of supply

by Calculated Risk on 10/25/2010 10:00:00 AM

The NAR reports: September Existing-Home Sales Show Another Strong Gain

Existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, jumped 10.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.53 million in September from a downwardly revised 4.12 million in August, but remain 19.1 percent below the 5.60 million-unit pace in September 2009 when first-time buyers were ramping up in advance of the initial deadline for the tax credit last November.
Total housing inventory at the end of September fell 1.9 percent to 4.04 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 10.7-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 12.0-month supply in August.
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 September 2010 (4.53 million SAAR) were 10% higher than last month, and were 19.1% lower than September 2009 (5.6 million SAAR).

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

According to the NAR, inventory decreased slightly to 4.04 million in September from August from 4.12 million in August. 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 10.7 months in September from 12.0 months in August. This is extremely high and suggests prices, as measured by the repeat sales indexes like Case-Shiller and CoreLogic, will continue to decline.

Ignore the NAR spin and the median price! These fairly weak numbers are exactly what I expected.

The ongoing high level of supply - and double digit months-of-supply are the key stories. I'll have more ...