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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales Slip
by Tom Moeller June 22, 2010

Sales of existing single-family home sales slipped following the expiration of a Federal home-buyer tax credit. Existing home sales fell 2.2% to 5.660M last month following April's little revised 8.0% increase according to the National Association of Realtors. May sales disappointed Consensus expectations for sales of 6.16M. Total sales include sales of condos and co-ops. Sales of existing single-family homes alone fell 1.6% from April to 4.980M. (These data have a longer history than the total sales series). Sales of condos and co-ops rose 32.6% from last year. 

The median price of all existing homes rose in May to $179,600. Though prices remained off roughly 25% from the 2007 peak they have risen 9.1% from the February low. The price of a single-family home rose 4.0% to $179,400 (2.7% y/y). Earlier price weakness sharply raised home affordability -- by three-quarters from the 2006 low. This rise in home prices lowered homes' affordability by 9.5% versus one year ago. The median family income for existing home buyers was $60,498 and mortgage payments amounted to 14.9% of that total.

The number of unsold homes (single-family & co-ops) for sale slipped m/m but remained up 1.1% y/y. At the current sales rate there was an 8.3 months' supply of homes on the market. That was down from a high of 10.1 months during April of 2008. For single-family homes, the inventory fell m/m to a 7.8 months' supply. 

The data on existing home sales, prices and affordability can be found in Haver's USECON database. The regional price, affordability and inventory data is available in the REALTOR database.

The Homeownership Gap from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is available here.

Existing Home Sales (Thous, SAAR) May April March May Y/Y 2009 2008 2007
Total 5,660 5,790 5,360 19.2% 5,160 4,893 5,674
  Northeast 890 1,090 900 12.7 863 845 1,010
  Midwest 1,330 1,330 1,210 22.0 1,166 1,130 1,331
  South 2,150 2,140 1,970 22.9 1,913 1,860 2,243
  West 1,290 1,230 1,290 15.2 1,216 1,064 1,095
Single-Family Sales 4,980 5,060 4,700 17.5 4,573 4,341 4,960
Median Price, Total, $ (NSA) 179,600 172,300 169,600 2.7 172,742 197,233 216,633
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