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Friday, August 15, 2014

Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in July

by Calculated Risk on 8/15/2014 02:47:00 PM

From housing economist Tom Lawler:

Based on reports released so far by local realtor associations/boards/MLS, I estimate that US existing home sales as measured by the National Association of Realtors ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 5.09 million in July, up 0.6% from June’s estimate but down 5.4% from last July’s estimate.

Last July, of course, was the peak month for home sales in 2013. Based on a combination of local realtor/MLS reports and real-estate listings trackers, I project that the NAR’s estimate of the number of existing homes for sale at the end of July will be up about 3.0% from the end of June. Barring revisions, such a gain would imply a YOY inventory increase of 5.8%, compared to the YOY gain of 6.5% in June.

Finally, based on local realtor/MLS reports I project that the NAR’s estimate of the median existing SF home sales price in July will be 3.7% higher than last July. The estimated YOY gain in June was 4.5%.
CR Note: The NAR is scheduled to release July existing home sales on Thursday, August 21st. The consensus is for sales at a 5.00 million pace (SAAR).

On inventory, if Lawler is correct, this would put inventory in July at close to the same level as two years ago - in July 2012 -when prices started increasing faster.  Now, with rising inventory, this should mean slower price increases.