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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales Slip
by Tom Moeller  May 19, 2011

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes during April slipped to 5.050M (AR) from a March level of 5.090M, revised from 5.100M. The last was slightly higher than Consensus expectations for 5.20M sales according to Action Economics. Total sales include sales of condos and co-ops. Sales of existing single-family homes alone slipped 0.5% (-12.6% y/y) from March to 4.420M. (These data have a longer history than the total sales series.) Sales of condos and co-ops were unchanged m/m (-15.9% y/y).

The median price of all existing homes rose 2.4% m/m to $163,700. Nevertheless, prices remained near the lowest level in ten years. The price of a single-family home rose 1.6% last month to $163,200 (-5.4% y/y). Home affordability slipped during March from its record high but remained up more than two-thirds from the 2006 low. As a percent of income, mortgage payments ticked up to 13.3%.

The data on existing home sales, prices and affordability can be found in Haver's USECON database. The regional price, affordability and inventory data are available in the REALTOR database. The expectations figure is in the AS1REPNA database.

Liquidity Crisis from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis can be found here.

Existing Home Sales (Thous, SAAR) Apr Mar Feb Y/Y% 2010 2009 2008
Total 5,050 5,090 4,920 -12.9 4,918 5,149 4,894
  Northeast 740 800 770 -32.1 825 863 848
  Midwest 1,120 1,060 1,050 -16.4 1,076 1,168 1,128
  South 1,950 1,970 1,840 -9.3 1,861 1,907 1,857
  West 1,240 1,260 1,260 0.8 1,155 1,214 1,062
Single-Family Sales 4,420 4,440 4,280 -12.6 4,311 4,559 4,337
Median Price, Total, ($, NSA) 163,700 159,800 156,100 -5.0 172,442 172,742 197,233
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