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