Monday, January 10, 2011

Lawler: Early Read on December Existing Home Sales

by Calculated Risk on 1/10/2011 03:42:00 PM

From economist Tom Lawler:

While I don’t have sales data from that many parts of the country, my “early” read is that the pace of existing home sales increased noticeably on a seasonally- adjusted basis in December from November. Right now my “best guess” is that existing home sales will come in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 5.13 million, up 9.6% from November’s pace. On the “inventory” front, there is no doubt that December listings will be down sharply from November’s (a “seasonal” norm), but by how much so in the NAR’s report is not clear. Based on realtor.com data (through mid-December; they stopped showing the report I used in mid month) and local MLS data, I’d estimate that the NAR’s estimate of the inventory of existing homes for sale at the end of December will be down about 5% from November.
CR: This would put the months-of-supply in the low 8 months range, down sharply from the 9.5 months reported for November. However some of the decline is seasonal, and inventory should increase again in February.