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Monday, May 21, 2012

Look Ahead: Existing Home Sales

by Calculated Risk on 5/21/2012 09:31:00 PM

• Existing home sales for April will be released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) at 10 AM ET. Existing home sales were at a 4.48 million seasonally adjusted annual rate in March, and the consensus is that sales increased to 4.66 million in April. Housing economist Tom Lawler is forecasting the NAR will report sales of 4.53 million.

Inventory will be closely watched. The NAR reported inventory at 2.37 million in March, and usually inventory increases sharply in April. The median increase from March to April over the last 10 years was 8%. Other sources suggest a smaller than normal seasonal increase, but as Tom Lawler noted last week: "for some reason the NAR’s inventory number in April has for many years shown a much larger monthly gain than listings data might suggest ...", and Lawler is projecting the NAR will report a 6.8% increase for April.

• Also at 10:00 AM, the Richmond Fed will release the regional Survey of Manufacturing Activity for May. The consensus is for a decrease to 11 for this survey from 14 in April (above zero is expansion).

For the monthly economic question contest: