Friday, April 17, 2020

Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in March

by Calculated Risk on 4/17/2020 01:38:00 PM

From housing economist Tom Lawler:

Based on publicly-available local realtor/MLS reports released across the country through today, I project that existing home sales as estimated by the National Association of Realtors ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.25 million, down 9.0% from February’s preliminary pace and up 0.4% from last March’s seasonally adjusted pace.

On the inventory front, local realtor/MLS data, as well as data from other inventory trackers, suggest that the inventory of existing homes for sale at the end of March will be down about 12.0% from a year earlier. It should be noted that of late firms that track nationwide listings (such as Realtor.com and Redfin) have shown steeper YOY declines than those shown in the NAR’s existing home sales report.

Finally, local realtor/MLS data suggest that the median US existing single-family home sales price last month was up by about 8.4% from last March.

It goes without saying that April will see a massively larger decline in homes sold, and May will be extremely weak as well.

CR Note: The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is scheduled to release March existing home sales on Tuesday, April 21, 2020 at 10:00 AM ET. The consensus is for 5.30 million SAAR.