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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales Remain Depressed
by Tom Moeller  August 19, 2011

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes during July fell 3.5% to 4.670M (21.0% y/y) from a revised 4.840 in June. The y/y comparison is positive because of last year's decline after the ending of the first-time home buyers tax credit. The latest was weaker than Consensus expectations for 4.900M, according to Action Economics. Total sales include sales of condos and co-ops. Sales of existing single-family homes alone fell 4.0% m/m to 4.120M (21.5% y/y). (These data have a longer history than the total sales series.) Sales of condos and co-ops were unchanged m/m at .550M (17.3% y/y).

The months' supply of homes on the market rose to 9.4 with the weakness in sales. Nevertheless, the number of homes on the market fell 8.9% y/y and it has been stable since early-2009.

The median price of all existing homes slipped 0.9% m/m to $174,000 from a downwardly revised $175,00. The price of a single-family home fell 0.7% last month to $174,800 (-4.5% y/y).

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) Jul Jun May Y/Y% 2010 2009 2008
Total 4,670 4,840 4,810 21.0 4,918 5,149 4,894
  Northeast 750 730 770 19.0 825 863 848
  Midwest 1,050 1,040 1,030 31.3 1,076 1,168 1,128
  South 1,840 1,870 1,850 19.5 1,861 1,907 1,857
  West 1,040 1,190 1,160 16.9 1,155 1,214 1,062
Single-Family Sales 4,120 4,290 4,240 21.5 4,311 4,559 4,337
Median Price, Total, ($, NSA) 174,000 175,600 169,300 -4.4 172,442 172,742 197,233
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