Thursday, February 21, 2019

NAR: Existing-Home Sales Decreased to 4.94 million in January

by Calculated Risk on 2/21/2019 10:12:00 AM

From the NAR: Existing-Home Sales Drop 1.2 Percent in January

Existing-home sales experienced a minor drop for the third consecutive month in January, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Of the four major U.S. regions, only the Northeast saw an uptick in sales activity last month.

Total existing-home sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, decreased 1.2 percent from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.94 million in January. Sales are now down 8.5 percent from a year ago (5.40 million in January 2018).
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Total housing inventory at the end of January increased to 1.59 million, up from 1.53 million existing homes available for sale in December, and represents an increase from 1.52 million a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 3.7 months in December and from 3.4 months in January 2018.
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 January (4.94 million SAAR) were down 1.2% from last month, and were 8.5% below the January 2018 sales rate.

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

Existing Home Inventory According to the NAR, inventory increased to 1.59 million in January from 1.53 million in December.   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 4.6% year-over-year in January compared to January 2018.

Months of supply was at 3.9 months in January.

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