Wednesday, January 22, 2020

NAR: Existing-Home Sales Increased to 5.54 million in December

by Calculated Risk on 1/22/2020 10:13:00 AM

From the NAR: Existing-Home Sales Climb 3.6% in December

Existing-home sales grew in December, bouncing back after a slight fall in November, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Although the Midwest saw sales decline, the other three major U.S. regions reported meaningful growth last month.

Total existing-home sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 3.6% from November to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.54 million in December. Additionally, overall sales took a significant bounce, up 10.8% from a year ago (5.00 million in December 2019).
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Total housing inventory at the end of December totaled 1.40 million units, down 14.6% from November and 8.5% from one year ago (1.53 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 3.0-month supply at the current sales pace, down from the 3.7-month figure recorded in both November and December 2018. Unsold inventory totals have dropped for seven consecutive months from year-ago levels, taking a toll on home sales.
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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 December (5.54 million SAAR) were up 3.6% from last month, and were 10.8% above the December 2018 sales rate.

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

Existing Home Inventory According to the NAR, inventory decreased to 1.40 million in December from 1.64 million in November.   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 down 8.5% year-over-year in December compared to December 2018.

Months of supply decreased to 3.0 months in December.

This was higher than the consensus forecast.  For existing home sales, a key number is inventory - and inventory is at record lows. I'll have more later …