NAR: “Existing-Home Sales Stumble in February”

by Bill McBride on 3/22/2017 10:12:00 AM

From the NAR: Existing-Home Sales Stumble in February

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, retreated 3.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million in February from 5.69 million in January. Despite last month's decline, February's sales pace is still 5.4 percent above a year ago.
Total housing inventory 3 at the end of February increased 4.2 percent to 1.75 million existing homes available for sale, but is still 6.4 percent lower than a year ago (1.87 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 21 straight months. Unsold inventory is at a 3.8-month supply at the current sales pace (3.5 months in January).
emphasis added

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 (5.48 million SAAR) were 3.7% lower than last month, but were 5.4% above the February 2016 rate.
The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.
Existing Home Inventory
According to the NAR, inventory increased to 1.75 million in February from 1.68 million in January. 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 decreased 6.4% year-over-year in February compared to February 2016.
Months of supply was at 3.8 months in February.
This was below consensus expectations. For existing home sales, a key number is inventory – and inventory is still low. I'll have more later …

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply