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CR: Existing Home Sales in April: 4.97 million SAAR, 5.2 months of supply

Existing Home Sales in April: 4.97 million SAAR, 5.2 months of supply

by Bill McBride on 5/22/2013  

NOTE: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testimony Testimony by Chairman Bernanke on the economic outlook 

The NAR reports: April Existing-Home Sales Up but Constrained

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 0.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.97 million in April from an upwardly revised 4.94 million in March. Resale activity is 9.7 percent above the 4.53 million-unit level in April 2012.

Total housing inventory at the end of April rose 11.9 percent, a seasonal increase to 2.16 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 5.2-month supply at the current sales pace, compared with 4.7 months in March. Listed inventory is 13.6 percent below a year ago, when there was a 6.6-month supply, with current availability tighter in the lower price ranges.

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 April 2013 (4.97 million SAAR) were 0.6% higher than last month, and were 9.7% above the April 2012 rate.

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

Existing Home InventoryAccording to the NAR, inventory increased to 2.16 million in April up from 1.93 million in March.   Inventory is not seasonally adjusted, and inventory usually increases from the seasonal lows in December and January, and peaks in mid-to-late summer (so some of this increase was seasonal).

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 13.6% year-over-year in April compared to April 2012. This is the 26th consecutive month with a YoY decrease in inventory, but the smallest YoY decrease since 2011 (I expect the YoY decrease to get smaller all year).

Months of supply increased to 5.2 months in April.

This was  just below expectations of sales of 5.0 million.  For existing home sales, the key number is inventory – and inventory is still down sharply year-over-year, although the declines are slowing.   This was a solid report.  I’ll have more later …

Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2013/05/existing-home-sales-in-april-497.html#jOuSfqHdtIQ06j4D.99

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CR: Existing Home Sales in March: 4.92 million SAAR, 4.7 months of supply

Existing Home Sales in March: 4.92 million SAAR, 4.7 months of supply

by Bill McBride on 4/22/2013 

The NAR reports: March Existing-Home Sales Slip Due to Limited Inventory, Prices Maintain Uptrend

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, declined 0.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.92 million in March from a downwardly revised 4.95 million in February, but remain 10.3 percent higher than the 4.46 million-unit pace in March 2012.

Total housing inventory at the end of March increased 1.6 percent to 1.93 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 4.7-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 4.6 months in February. Listed inventory remains 16.8 percent below a year ago when there was a 6.2-month supply.

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 March 2013 (4.92 million SAAR) were 0.6% lower than last month, and were 10.3% above the March 2012 rate.

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

Existing Home InventoryAccording to the NAR, inventory increased to 1.93 million in March up from 1.90 million in February.   Inventory is not seasonally adjusted, and inventory usually increases from the seasonal lows in December and January, and peaks in mid-to-late summer (so some of this increase was seasonal).

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 16.8% year-over-year in March compared to March 2012. This is the 25th consecutive month with a YoY decrease in inventory, but the smallest YoY decrease since 2011 (I expect the YoY decrease to get smaller all year).

Months of supply increased to 4.7 months in March.

This was below expectations of sales of 5.03 million, but close to Tom Lawler’s forecast.  For existing home sales, the key number is inventory – and the sharp year-over-year decline in inventory is a positive for housing.   This was a solid report.  I’ll have more later …

Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2013/04/existing-home-sales-in-march-492.html#5X5eRZxguJc0FXSV.99

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CR: Existing Home Sales in February: 4.98 million SAAR, 4.7 months of supply

Existing Home Sales in February: 4.98 million SAAR, 4.7 months of supply

by Bill McBride on 3/21/2013 

The NAR reports: Existing-Home Sales and Prices Continue to Rise in February

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 0.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.98 million in February from an upwardly revised 4.94 million in January, and are 10.2 percent above the 4.52 million-unit level seen in February 2012.

Total housing inventory at the end of February rose 9.6 percent to 1.94 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 4.7-month supply 2 at the current sales pace, up from 4.3 months in January, which was the lowest supply since May 2005. Listed inventory is 19.2 percent below a year ago when there was a 6.4-month supply.

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 February 2013 (4.98 million SAAR) were 0.8% higher than last month, and were 10.2% above the February 2012 rate.

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

Existing Home InventoryAccording to the NAR, inventory increased to 1.94 million in February up from 1.77 million in January.   Inventory is not seasonally adjusted, and inventor usually increases from the seasonal lows in December and January, and peaks in mid-to-late summer (so some of this increase was seasonal).

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 InventoryInventory decreased 19.2% year-over-year in February from February 2012. This is the 24th consecutive month with a YoY decrease in inventory, but the smallest YoY decrease since 2011 (I expect the YoY decrease to get smaller all year).

Months of supply increased to 4.7 months in February.

This was close to expectations of sales of 5.01 million. 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 …

Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2013/03/existing-home-sales-in-february-498.html#YpMfUChRv3AXLm7L.99

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CR: Existing Home Sales in January: 4.92 million SAAR, 4.2 months of supply

Existing Home Sales in January: 4.92 million SAAR, 4.2 months of supply

by Bill McBride on 2/21/2013 

The NAR reports: January Existing-Home Sales Hold with Steady Price Gains, Seller’s Market Developing

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 0.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.92 million in January from a downwardly revised 4.90 million in December, and are 9.1 percent above the 4.51 million-unit pace in January 2012.

Total housing inventory at the end of January fell 4.9 percent to 1.74 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 4.2-month supply 2 at the current sales pace, down from 4.5 months in December, and is the lowest housing supply since April 2005 when it was also 4.2 months.

Listed inventory is 25.3 percent below a year ago when there was a 6.2-month supply. Raw unsold inventory is at the lowest level since December 1999 when there were 1.71 million homes on the market.

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 2013 (4.92 million SAAR) were 0.4% higher than last month, and were 9.1% above the January 2012 rate.

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

Existing Home InventoryAccording to the NAR, inventory declined to 1.74 million in January down from 1.83 million in December. This is the lowest level of inventory since December 1999. Inventory is not seasonally adjusted, and usually inventory decreases from the seasonal high in mid-summer to the seasonal lows in December and January.

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 InventoryInventory decreased 25.3% year-over-year in January from January 2012. This is the 23rd consecutive month with a YoY decrease in inventory.

Months of supply declined to 4.2 months in January, the lowest level since April 2005.

This was at expectations of sales of 4.94 million. 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 …

Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2013/02/existing-home-sales-in-january-492.html#XR4kawAQbyL9u0A2.99

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CR: Housing: Inventory down 22% year-over-year in early February

Housing: Inventory down 22% year-over-year in early February

by Bill McBride on 2/04/2013  

Inventory declines every year in December and January as potential sellers take their homes off the market for the holidays – and then starts increasing again in February. That is why it helps to look at the year-over-year change in inventory.

According to the deptofnumbers.com for (54 metro areas), overall inventory is down 22.2% year-over-year in early February and up slightly from January (on a monthly basis).

This graph shows the NAR estimate of existing home inventory through December (left axis) and the HousingTracker data for the 54 metro areas through early February.

NAR vs. HousingTracker.net Existing Home InventoryClick on graph for larger image.

Since the NAR released their revisions for sales and inventory in 2011, the NAR and HousingTracker inventory numbers have tracked pretty well.

On a seasonal basis, housing inventory usually bottoms during the holidays and then starts increasing in February – and peaks in mid-summer.  So inventory will probably increase for the next 6+ months.

The second graph shows the year-over-year change in inventory for both the NAR and HousingTracker.

HousingTracker.net YoY Home InventoryHousingTracker reported that the early February listings, for the 54 metro areas, declined 22.2% from the same period last year.

The year-over-year declines will probably start to get smaller since inventory is already very low.

One of key questions for 2013 is Will Housing inventory bottom this year?. Since this is a very important question, I’m also tracking inventory weekly this year.

If inventory does bottom, we probably will not know for sure until late in the year.  Ben at Housing Tracker (Department of Numbers) has provided me weekly inventory data for the last several years and this is displayed on the graph below as a percentage change from the first week of the year.

Exsiting Home Sales Weekly dataIn 2010 (blue), inventory followed the normal seasonal pattern, however in 2011 and 2012, there was only a small increase in inventory early in the year, followed by a sharp decline for the rest of the year.

Note: the data is a little weird for early 2011 (spikes down briefly).

The key will be to see how much inventory increases over the next few months. In 2010, inventory was up 8% by early March, and up 15% by the end of March.

For 2011 and 2012, inventory only increased about 5% at the peak.

So far in 2013, even with the slight decline last week (probably noise), inventory is already up 3.0%.  The next few months will be very interesting for inventory!

Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2013/02/housing-inventory-down-22-year-over.html#Y8WJpwsdX3TrvrkF.99

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CR: Understanding the Existing Home Sales Report

Understanding the Existing Home Sales Report

by Bill McBride on 1/23/2013  

The reporting on the Existing Home sales report was pretty negative yesterday even though I thought it was a solid report. And some of the positive reports were about prices – the NAR reported “The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $180,800 in December, which is 11.5 percent above December 2011” – and I completely ignore the median price.  What gives?

First, on prices, the median is impacted by the mix, and the mix changed in 2012 with fewer low end foreclosures.  I think the median price should be ignored during periods when the mix is changing (with all the repeat sales indexes available, I mostly ignore median prices all the time).

And on sales, the lead for many articles was that seasonally adjusted sales declined in December compared to November, and that sales were below the consensus forecast.   There were some suggestions that this called into question the “housing recovery”.   Nonsense.

What is a “housing recovery”?  There are really two recoveries: House prices and residential investment.  Most people – homeowners and potential buyers – focus on prices, and for prices we should use the repeat sales indexes, and not the NAR median price (repeat sales indexes include Case-Shiller, CoreLogic, etc).  What matters in the NAR report for prices is inventory and months-of-supply.  And inventory is at the lowest level since January 2001, and months-of-supply fell to 4.4 months – the lowest since May 2005.

But for GDP and jobs, the key is what the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) calls “residential investment” (RI) .  For existing homes, only the broker’s commission is part of GDP, but for new homes the entire sales price is part of GDP.  There are some spillover effects from home sales (furniture, landscapting, etc), but those aren’t included in RI.

Residential Investment ComponentsClick on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the components for RI as a percent of GDP. According to the BEA, RI includes new single family structures, multifamily structures, home improvement, broker’s commissions, and a few minor categories (dormitories, manufactured homes).

Usually the most important components are investment in single family structures followed by home improvement.

Right now home improvement is the largest category, but new single family structures will be the largest component soon.  Broker’s commissions is usually the third largest category and is relatively small compared to single family investment and home improvement.

So if existing home sales decline there is a minor impact on RI and GDP.  When we talk about the “housing recovery” for jobs and GDP, existing home sales are mostly irrelevant – the focus should be on new home sales, housing starts and home improvement.

On home improvement, from the NAHB: Remodeling Market Remains Strong in the Fourth Quarter

The Remodeling Market Index (RMI) reached 55 in the fourth quarter of 2012, increasing five points from the previous quarter, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). This is the highest reading since the first quarter 2004.

An RMI above 50 indicates that more remodelers report market activity is higher (compared to the prior quarter) than report it is lower. The overall RMI averages ratings of current remodeling activity with indicators of future remodeling activity.

“Remodelers are optimistic about the outlook for slow and steady market growth in the new year,” said 2013 NAHB Remodelers Chairman Bill Shaw, GMR, GMB, CGP, a remodeler from Houston. “Professional remodelers reported more work from large and small projects as well as overall home repair.”

Finally, as I mentioned yesterday, as the number of distressed sales decline, the number of total sales might decline too – but we need to look at the number of conventional sales – and conventional sales have been increasing.  That is probably a sign of a healing market.

I don’t expect much of an increase in existing home sales in 2013, and I wouldn’t be surprised by a decline depending on the number of foreclosures this year. But I think the housing recovery will remain fairly strong with new home sales and housing starts up sharply again this year.

Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2013/01/understanding-existing-home-sales-report.html#8L4G2HQkf3Tf4D2h.99

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CR: Existing Home Sales in December: 4.94 million SAAR, 4.4 months of supply

Existing Home Sales in December: 4.94 million SAAR, 4.4 months of supply

by Bill McBride on 1/22/2013

The NAR reports: Existing-Home Sales Slip in December, Prices Continue to Rise; 2012 Totals Up

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, declined 1.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.94 million in December from a downwardly revised 4.99 million in November, but are 12.8 percent above the 4.38 million-unit level in December 2011.

The preliminary annual total for existing-home sales in 2012 was 4.65 million, up 9.2 percent from 4.26 million in 2011. It was the highest volume since 2007 when it reached 5.03 million and the strongest increase since 2004.

Total housing inventory at the end of December fell 8.5 percent to 1.82 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 4.4-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.8 months in November, and is the lowest housing supply since May of 2005 when it was 4.3 months, which was near the peak of the housing boom.

Listed inventory is 21.6 percent below a year ago when there was a 6.4-month supply. Raw unsold inventory is at the lowest level since January 2001 when there were 1.78 million homes on the market.

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 December 2012 (4.94 million SAAR) were 1.0% lower than last month, and were 12.8% above the December 2011 rate.

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

Existing Home InventoryAccording to the NAR, inventory declined to 1.82 million in December down from 1.99 million in November. This is the lowest level of inventory since January 2001. Inventory is not seasonally adjusted, and usually inventory decreases from the seasonal high in mid-summer to the seasonal lows in December and January.

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 InventoryInventory decreased 21.6% year-over-year in December from December 2011. This is the 22nd consecutive month with a YoY decrease in inventory.

Months of supply declined to 4.4 months in December, the lowest level since May 2005.

This was below expectations of sales of 5.10 million, but right at Tom Lawler’s forecast. 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 …

Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2013/01/existing-home-sales-in-december-494.html#ZduylkQ5CXgU61RA.99

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