Wednesday, November 21, 2018

NAR: Existing-Home Sales Increased to 5.22 million in October

by Bill McBride on 11/21/2018 10:11:00 AM

From the NAR: Existing-Home Sales Increase for the First Time in Six Months

Existing-home sales increased in October after six straight months of decreases, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Three of four major U.S. regions saw gains in sales activity last month.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 1.4 percent from September to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.22 million in October. Sales are now down 5.1 percent from a year ago (5.5 million in October 2017).
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Total housing inventory at the end of October decreased from 1.88 million in September to 1.85 million existing homes available for sale, but that represents an increase from 1.80 million a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 4.3-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.4 last month and up from 3.9 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 October (5.2 million SAAR) were up 1.4% from last month, but were 5.1% below the October 2017 rate.

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

Existing Home Inventory According to the NAR, inventory decreased to 1.85 million in October from 1.88 million in September.   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 2.8% year-over-year in October compared to October 2017.  

Months of supply was at 4.3 months in October.

For existing home sales, a key number is inventory - and inventory is still low, but appears to have bottomed. I'll have more later ...