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Friday, March 20, 2020

Comments on February Existing Home Sales

by Calculated Risk on 3/20/2020 01:28:00 PM

Earlier: NAR: Existing-Home Sales Increased to 5.77 million in February

A few key points:

1) This is pre-crisis data. Sales will decline sharply in March and April.

2) Existing home sales were up 7.2% year-over-year (YoY) in February.

2) Inventory is very low, and was down 9.8% year-over-year (YoY) in February. Inventory will probably stay low in March as people wait to list their homes.

Existing Home Sales YoY Click on graph for larger image.

Sales will probably be down sharply year-over-year in March and April.

Note that existing home sales picked up somewhat in the second half of 2019 as interest rates declined.

Existing Home Sales NSAThe second graph shows existing home sales Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA) by month (Red dashes are 2020), and the minimum and maximum for 2005 through 2019.

Sales NSA in February (335,000) were the highest for January since 2017.

Note that sales have been in the middle of the range recently - not absurdly high like in 2005, and not depressed like in 2010 and 2011.

Overall this was a solid report.   Now, with the pandemic, sales will decline sharply.