Thursday, September 20, 2018

NAR: Existing-Home Sales Unchanged at 5.34 million in August

by Bill McBride on 9/20/2018 10:11:00 AM

From the NAR: Existing-Home Sales Remain Flat Nationally, Mixed Results Regionally

Existing-home sales remained steady in August after four straight months of decline, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Sales gains in the Northeast and Midwest canceled out downturns in the South and West. Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, did not change from July and remained at a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.34 million in August. Sales are now down 1.5 percent from a year ago (5.42 million in August 2017).
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Total housing inventory at the end of August also remained unchanged from July at 1.92 million existing homes available for sale, and is up from 1.87 million a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 4.3-month supply at the current sales pace, consistent from last month and up from 4.1 months a year ago. Properties typically stayed on the market for 29 days in August, up from 27 days in July but down from 30 days a year ago. Fifty-two percent of homes sold in August were on the market for less than a month.
emphasis added
Existing Home SalesClick on graph for larger image.

This graph shows existing home sales, on a Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) basis since 1993.

Sales in August (5.34 million SAAR) were unchanged from last month, and were 1.5% below the August 2017 rate.

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

Existing Home Inventory According to the NAR, inventory was unchanged at 1.92 million in August from 1.92 million in July.   Headline inventory is not seasonally adjusted, and inventory usually decreases to the seasonal lows in December and January, and peaks in mid-to-late summer.

The last graph shows the year-over-year (YoY) change in reported existing home inventory and months-of-supply. Since inventory is not seasonally adjusted, it really helps to look at the YoY change. Note: Months-of-supply is based on the seasonally adjusted sales and not seasonally adjusted inventory.

Year-over-year Inventory Inventory was up 2.7% year-over-year in August compared to August 2017.  

Months of supply was at 4.3 months in July.

Sales were at the consensus view. For existing home sales, a key number is inventory - and inventory is still low, but appears to be bottoming. I'll have more later ...