Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Comments on July Existing Home Sales

by Calculated Risk on 8/21/2019 10:53:00 AM

Earlier: NAR: Existing-Home Sales Increased to 5.42 million in July

A few key points:

1) Existing home sales were up 0.6% year-over-year (YoY) in July.  This was the first YoY increase since early 2018.

2) Inventory is still low, and was down 1.6% year-over-year (YoY) in July.

3) As usual, housing economist Tom Lawler's forecast was closer (barely this month) to the NAR report than the consensus. See: Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in July.   The consensus was for sales of 5.39 million SAAR.  Lawler estimated the NAR would report 5.40 million SAAR in July, and the NAR actually reported 5.42 million SAAR.

Existing Home Sales YoY Click on graph for larger image.

4) Year-to-date sales are down about 2.9% compared to the same period in 2018.   On an annual basis, that would put sales around 5.20 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.

The comparisons will be easier towards the end of this year, and with lower mortgage rates, sales might even finish the year unchanged or even up from 2018.

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

Sales NSA in July (540,000, red column) were above sales in July 2018 (528,000, NSA), and were the highest sales for July since 2015.