Friday, February 21, 2020

NAR: Existing-Home Sales Decreased to 5.46 million in January

by Calculated Risk on 2/21/2020 10:12:00 AM

From the NAR: Existing-Home Sales Drop 1.3% in January

Existing-home sales declined in January, continuing a fluctuating pattern of monthly increases and declines, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Significant declines in the West region dragged down nationwide numbers, with the other three major U.S. regions reporting marginal – or no – changes last month.

Total existing-home sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, decreased 1.3% from December to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million in January. However, for the second straight month, overall sales substantially increased year-over-year, up 9.6% from a year ago (4.98 million in January 2019)..
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Total housing inventory at the end of January totaled 1.42 million units, up 2.2% from December, but down 10.7% from one year ago (1.59 million). The housing inventory level for January is the lowest level since 1999. Unsold inventory sits at a 3.1-month supply at the current sales pace, up from the 3.0-month figure recorded in December and down from the 3.8-month figure recorded in January 2019.
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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 January (5.46 million SAAR) were down 1.3% from last month, and were 9.6% above the January 2019 sales rate.

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

Existing Home Inventory According to the NAR, inventory increased to 1.42 million in January from 1.39 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 down 10.7% year-over-year in January compared to January 2019.

Months of supply increased to 3.1 months in January.

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