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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales Fall and Prices Weaken Further
by Tom Moeller  December 19, 2013

Sales of existing single-family homes fell 4.3% (-1.2% y/y) to 4.900 million (AR) during November from an unrevised 5.120 million in October. The decline from the August high totals 9.1%. November sales fell short of 5.050 million expected in the Action Economics survey. Sales of existing single family homes fell 3.5% to 4.320 million (-0.9% y/y).

The median sales price of an existing single-family home fell to $196,300 (+9.4% y/y), the fifth consecutive month of decline. Prices have fallen 8.3% since the June peak.

The composite index of home affordability fell 18.8% y/y as mortgage rates rose to 4.49% from 3.57% twelve months ago. Mortgage payments as a percent of income held m/m at 15.1%, up from 12.3% twelve months ago.

The inventory of unsold homes fell during the last four months but remained up 5.0% y/y. The months sales supply of unsold homes ticked higher m/m to 5.1 and remained up from 4.3 months in January. That remains lower, however, versus an 11.9 month supply in July of 2010.

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 from the Action Economics survey, reported in the AS1REPNA database.

Existing Home Sales (SAAR, 000s) Nov Oct Sep Y/Y % 2012 2011 2010
Total 4,900 5,120 5,290 -1.2 4,661 4,278 4,183
Northeast 650 670 690 6.6 596 543 563
Midwest 1,170 1,220 1,240 0.0 1067 918 909
South 2,010 2,060 2,100 1.0 1,833 1,683 1,626
West 1,070 1,170 1,260 -10.1 1,165 1,133 1,084
Single-Family Sales 4,320 4,490 4,680 0.9 4,130 3,793 3,705
Median Price Total ($, NSA) 196,300 197,500 198,500 9.4 175,442 164,542 172,442
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