Monday, September 17, 2018

Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in August

by Bill McBride on 9/17/2018 04:11:00 PM

From housing economist Tom Lawler:

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 5.36 million, up 0.4% from July’s preliminary pace (which I believe was too low), and down 1.1% from last August’s seasonally adjusted pace.

On the inventory front, local realtor/MLS data, as well as data from other inventory trackers, suggest that the inventory of existing homes for sale in August was up a bit last August, mainly driven by big gains in previous “hot’ markets where inventory levels were very low a year ago. I project that the NAR’s estimate of the number of existing homes for sale as the end of August will be 1.92 million, unchanged from July’s preliminary estimate and up 2.7% from last August.

Finally, local realtor/MLS data suggest that the median US existing single-family home sales price last month was up about 5.5% from last August. 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: The NAR is scheduled to released August existing home sales on Thursday. The consensus is also for sales of 5.36 million SAAR, up from 5.34 million in July.