Lawler: Early Read on October Existing Home Sales

Lawler: Early Read on October Existing Home Sales

by CalculatedRisk on 11/18/2011 

From economist Tom Lawler:

Based on my regional tracking, I estimate that existing home sales as measured by the National Association of Realtors ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 4.86 million in October, down 1.0% from September’s pace, and up 11% from last October’s pace. Compared to a year ago sales showed little growth (or actual declines) in a number of northeast and mid-Atlantic areas.

Active listings were clearly down again in October from September, with my “best guess” nationwide being a drop of 3.5%. NAR’s inventory numbers don’t often track publicly-available listings, but I’d guess NAR’s numbers will show a similar monthly drop. If that were the case, the NAR’s existing home inventory number would show a YOY decline of about 13.1% (less than publicly-available listings data would suggest, but that has been the case for a while.)

On the median sales price side, a larger % of realtor groups/MLS/etc. reported YOY declines in median sales prices in October than was the case in September, and in many others reported larger YOY % declines in October than in September. Based on the data I have, I estimate that the NAR will show an October median existing home sales price that is about 5.2% lower than last October. In September the NAR’s MSP showed a YOY drop of 3.5%.

CR Note: The NAR is scheduled to release their October existing home sales report on Monday November 21st at 10 AM ET. The consensus is for sales of 4.80 million (close to Tom’s estimate). With a 3.5% decline in inventory, this would give 8.3 months of supply, down from the reported 8.5 months in September. Also – the NAR might announce the release of the “benchmark revisions” that are expected to show downward revisions for sales and inventory since 2006 or so.

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