by CalculatedRisk on 9/19/2011
From economist Tom Lawler:
On the inventory side, there is absolutely no doubt that the inventory of homes for sale fell from the end of July to the end of August, and was down significantly from a year ago nationwide. E.g., the “Department of Numbers” website (formerly and more appropriately named “HousingTracker”) shows that active residential listings in the 54 metro markets it covers declined by 2.6% (monthly average of weekly data) from July to August, and were down 14.1% from last August. While these 54 metro areas don’t generally represent the US as a whole, other markets not in this report that I follow on average had similar, though somewhat smaller, declines. NAR inventory figures do not always follow what MLS listing reports might suggest, however. Moreover, NAR inventory numbers this year have not shown the same YOY % declines as various aggregated listings reports.
A “best guess” would be that the NAR’s inventory number for August will be down 2.5% from July, and down 13.5% from last August. If that turns out to be the case, then August’s “months’ supply” number (unadjusted inventory divided by seasonally adjusted monthly sales!) would come in at 8.7 months, down from 9.4 months in July, and 11.7 months last August.
CR Note: The NAR is scheduled to report August existing home sales on Wednesday at 10 AM ET.