by Bill McBride on 8/22/2012
Note: The NAR had release issues this morning.
From the WSJ: Home Resales Jump
Existing-home sales increased 2.3% in July from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.47 million, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. The month’s sales were 10.4% above the same month a year earlier.
The sales pace for June was unrevised at 4.37 million per year.
The median sales price in July, meanwhile, was $187,300, up 9.4% from the same month a year earlier and the strongest year-over year gain since January 2006.
At the end of July, meanwhile, the inventory of previously owned homes listed for sale rose 1.3% to 2.4 million. That represented a 6.4 month supply at the current sales pace
This graph shows existing home sales, on a Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) basis since 1993.
Sales in July 2012 (4.47 million SAAR) were 2.3% higher than last month, and were 10.4% above the July 2011 rate.
The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.
According to the NAR, inventory increased to 2.4 million in July from 2.39 million in June. Inventory is not seasonally adjusted, and usually inventory increases from the seasonal lows in December and January to the seasonal high in mid-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.
Months of supply decreased to 6.4 months in July.
This was slightly below expectations of sales of 4.50 million. However, as I’ve noted before, those focusing on sales of existing homes, looking for a recovery for housing, are looking at the wrong number. For existing home sales, the key number is inventory – and the sharp year-over-year decline in inventory is a positive for housing. I’ll have more later …