Friday, August 17, 2018

Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in July

by Bill McBride on 8/17/2018 02:40:00 PM

From housing economist Tom Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in July

Based on publicly-available local realtor/MLS reports from across the country released through today, I project that existing home sales as estimated by the National Association of Realtors ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.40 million in July, up 0.4% from June’s preliminary pace and down 0.4% from last July’s seasonally adjusted pace. Unadjusted sales should show a modest year-over-year gain, with the SA/NSA gap reflecting this July’s higher business day count relative to last July.

Projecting the NAR’s inventory estimate for July using local realtor/MLS data is tricky, as local data for June did not suggest that national inventories were up YOY, as the NAR estimate suggested (the NAR’s estimate for June showed a 0.5% YOY increase). Local realtor/MLS data, as well as other tracking services, suggest that the inventory of existing homes for sale in July were down very slightly from last July, and my “best guess” is that the NAR’s inventory estimate for July will be 1.90 million, down 2.6% from June’s preliminary estimate and down 1.0% from last July’s estimate.

Finally, local realtor/MLS data suggest that the median US existing single-family home sales price last month was up about 5.7% from last July. Note, however, that of late the NAR’s median existing home sales prices have shown lower YOY gains than local realtor/MLS data would have suggested, for reasons that are not clear.

CR Note: Existing home sales for July are scheduled to be released by the NAR on Wednesday, Aug 22nd.