Monday, April 22, 2019

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

by Calculated Risk on 4/22/2019 10:14:00 AM

From the NAR: Existing-Home Sales Slide 4.9% in March

Existing-home sales retreated in March, following February’s surge of sales, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Each of the four major U.S. regions saw a drop-off in sales, with the Midwest enduring the largest decline last month.

Total existing-home sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, fell 4.9% from February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.21 million in March. Sales as a whole are down 5.4% from a year ago (5.51 million in March 2018).
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Total housing inventory at the end of March increased to 1.68 million, up from 1.63 million existing homes available for sale in February and a 2.4% increase from 1.64 million a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 3.6 months in February and up from 3.6 months in March 2018.
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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 February (5.21 million SAAR) were down 4.9% from last month, and were 5.4% below the March 2018 sales rate.

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

Existing Home Inventory According to the NAR, inventory increased to 1.68 million in March from 1.63 million in January.   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 2.4% year-over-year in March compared to March 2018.

Months of supply was at 3.9 months in March.

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