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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales Soften
by Tom Moeller November 28, 2005

Total existing home sales fell 2.7% m/m to 7.090M (AR) in October according to the National Association of Realtors. The September level of sales was revised slightly higher. Consensus expectations for sales last month had been for stability at 7.20M.

Sales of single-family homes led the October decline with a 2.5% drop to 6.23 million. Lower sales of condos & co-ops also were weak and fell 4.4% (+6.2% y/y).

The data cover sales closed in the latest and previous months, and contrast to the new home sales data which count sales at the signing of a contract.

Single family home sales fell throughout the country in October. In the Northeast sales posted a large 8.0% (-2.4% y/y) decline from September's level which had matched the June peak. In the South, sales reversed half of the prior month's gain with a 1.9% (+7.2% y/y) decline.In the Midwest single family sales slipped 1.4% (0.0% y/y), off 4.7% from the August peak, and in the West sales fell 1.3% m/m (+3.4% y/y for the third decline in the last four months.

The median price of an existing single-family home gained back more than half of the prior month's decline with a 1.9% rise to $216,200 (16.6% y/y). Prices are not seasonally adjusted.

The latest release from the National Association of Realtors is available here.

Existing Home Sales (000, AR) Oct Sept Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Total Home Sales 7,090 7,290 3.7% 6,723 6,170 5,653
  Single Family Home Sales 6,230 6,390 3.3% 5,913 5,441 4,995
Single Family Median Home Price ($,000) $216.2 $21 2.2 16.6% $182.8 $169.1 $157.6
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