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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales Fall Further
by Tom Moeller  June 21, 2011

The National Association of Realtors reported that forward momentum in the housing market has disappeared. Sales of existing homes during May fell 3.8% to 4.810M from 5.000M in April, revised from 5.050M. The decline followed a 1.8% April drop and roughly matched Consensus expectations, according to Action Economics. Total sales include sales of condos and co-ops. Sales of existing single-family homes alone fell 3.2% (-15.4% y/y) from April to 4.240M. (These data have a longer history than the total sales series.) Sales of condos and co-ops fell 8.1% m/m (-14.7% y/y).

The median price of all existing homes rose 3.4% m/m to $166,500. Nevertheless, prices remained near the lowest level in ten years. The price of a single-family home rose 3.3% last month to $166,700 (-4.5% y/y). Home affordability slipped during May from its record high but remained up more than two-thirds from the 2006 low.

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.

Existing Home Sales (Thous, SAAR) May Apr Mar Y/Y% 2010 2009 2008
Total 4,810 5,000 5,090 -15.3 4,918 5,149 4,894
  Northeast 770 790 800 -13.5 825 863 848
  Midwest 1,020 1,090 1,060 -22.7 1,076 1,168 1,128
  South 1,850 1,950 1,970 -14.4 1,861 1,907 1,857
  West 1,170 1,170 1,260 -10.0 1,155 1,214 1,062
Single-Family Sales 4,240 4,380 4,440 -15.4 4,311 4,559 4,337
Median Price, Total, ($, NSA) 166,500 161,100 159,800 -4.6 172,442 172,742 197,233
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