Friday, October 19, 2018

NAR: Existing-Home Sales Declined to 5.15 million in September

by Bill McBride on 10/19/2018 10:10:00 AM

From the NAR: Existing-Home Sales Decline Across the Country in September

Existing-home sales declined in September after a month of stagnation in August, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All four major regions saw no gain in sales activity last month.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, fell 3.4 percent from August to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.15 million in September. Sales are now down 4.1 percent from a year ago (5.37 million in September 2017).
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Total housing inventory at the end of September decreased from 1.91 million in August to 1.88 million existing homes available for sale, and is up from 1.86 million a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 4.4-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 4.3 last month and 4.2 months a year ago.
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 September (5.15 million SAAR) were down 3.4% from last month, and were 4.1% below the September 2017 rate.

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

Existing Home Inventory According to the NAR, inventory decreased to 1.88 million in September from 1.91 million in August.   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 1.1% year-over-year in September compared to September 2017.  

Months of supply was at 4.3 months in September.

As expected by CR readers, sales were below 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 ...