Monday, April 22, 2019

Comments on March Existing Home Sales

by Calculated Risk on 4/22/2019 02:17:00 PM

Earlier: NAR: Existing-Home Sales Decreased to 5.21 million in March

A few key points:

1) The key for housing - and the overall economy - is new home sales, single family housing starts and overall residential investment.

Overall, this is still a somewhat reasonable level for existing home sales.  No worries.

2) Inventory is still low, and was only up 2.4% year-over-year (YoY) in March. This was the eighth consecutive month with a year-over-year increase in inventory, although the YoY increase was smaller in March than in the five previous months.

Existing Home Sales NSAClick on graph for larger image.

3) Year-to-date sales are down about 6.5% compared to the same period in 2018.   On an annual basis, that would put sales around 5 million in 2019.  Sales slumped at the end of 2018 and in January 2019 due to higher mortgage rates, the stock market selloff, and fears of an economic slowdown (unfounded).

The comparisons will be easier towards the end of the year.

Existing Home Sales NSAThe second graph shows existing home sales Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA).

Sales NSA in March (400,000, red column) were below sales in March 2018 (434,000, NSA), and sales were the lowest for March since 2014.