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Economy in Brief

Price Concessions Support U.S. Existing Home Sales
by Tom Moeller July 25, 2006

Total existing home sales fell 1.3% during June to 6.620M. The decline, however, was slightly less than Consensus expectations for a fall in sales to 6.60M. In addition, it followed a 0.6% May drop that was shallower than originally reported by the National Association of Realtors.

Support for home sales may have derived from an easing in home price inflation. The median price of an existing single-family home did rise 1.3% m/m but the y/y gain fell to 1.1% from a 12.8% annual increase last year. The price figures are not seasonally adjusted.

Sales of single-family homes fell 0.9%, the fifth m/m decline this year. Versus the first six months of 2005 sales this year are down 4.3%

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

Sales in the Northeast rose 1,2% m/m (-5.7% y/y) and in the Midwest sales were unchanged (-6.3% y/y). In the South sales fell 2.9% (-4.9% y/y) and in the West (-14.1% y/y) sales rose 0.8% (-16.2% y/y).

The inventory of unsold existing homes surged another 3.8% (39.1% y/y). The supply of unsold single family homes rose 4.9% (35.7% y/y) though the supply of condos & coops for sale fell slightly m/m (+63.1% y/y).

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

Texas Housing: A Boom With No Bubble? from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is available here.

Existing Home Sales (000, AR) June May Y/Y 2005 2004 2003
Total Home Sales  6,620 6,710 -8.9% 7,064 6,722 6,176
  Single Family Home Sales 5,810 5,860 -8.2% 6,170 5,912 5,443
Single Family Median Home Price (000) $231.5 $228.5 1.1% $206.3 $182.8 $169.1
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