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Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in October

by Calculated Risk on 11/17/2020 05:09:00 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 6.63 million in October, up 1.4% from September’s preliminary pace and up 22.6% from last October’s seasonally adjusted pace. I should note that several state and local realtor reports that would normally be available at this time of the month have not yet been released, and as a result my sample size is smaller than normal.

Local realtor reports, as well as reports from national inventory trackers, suggest that the YOY decline in the inventory of existing homes for sale was about the same in October as it was in September, though what that means for the NAR inventory estimate is unclear. As I’ve noted before, the inventory measure in most publicly-released local realtor/MLS reports excludes listings with pending contracts, but that is not the case for many of the reports sent to the NAR (referred to as the “NAR Report!”), Since the middle of last Spring inventory measures excluding pending listings have fallen much more sharply than inventory measures including such listings, and this latter inventory measure understates the decline in the effective inventory of homes for sale over the last several months.

Finally, local realtor/MLS reports suggest the median existing single-family home sales price last month was up by 14% from last October.

CR Note: The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is scheduled to release October existing home sales on Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 10:00 AM ET. The consensus is for 6.45 million SAAR.