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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales Increase for Third Straight Month and Raise Prices
by Tom Moeller  July 22, 2014

Sales of existing single-family homes increased 2.6% (-2.3% y/y) to 5.040 million (AR) during June from 4.910 million in May, last month reported as 4.890 million. Sales, nevertheless, remained 6.3% below the peak reached last July. The latest level exceeded expectations for 5.000 million sales in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Sales of single-family homes improved 2.5% (-2.9% y/y) to 4.430 million. Sales of condos and co-ops rose 3.4% (1.7% y/y) to .610 million.

Sales were strongest in the Midwest where they rose 6.2% (-2.4% y/y) followed by a 3.2% (-3.0% y/y) increase in the Northeast. Sales in West gained 2.7% (-7.3% y/y) while sales in the South nudged 0.5% higher (1.0% y/y).

The median sales price of an existing single-family home increased 5.3% to $223,300 last month (4.3% y/y). Prices remained 3.1% lower than the all-time peak in July 2006.

During May, home affordability declined 5.2% (-11.2% y/y) as higher home prices offset the slip in mortgage rates to 4.34%.

The inventory of unsold homes rose 2.2% last month (6.5% y/y) to 2.300 million but remained 43.1% below the 2007 peak. The supply of unsold homes gained m/m to 5.5 months. That compares to 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) Jun May Apr Y/Y % 2013 2012 2011
Total 5,040 4,910 4,660 -2.3 5,073 4,659 4,277
Northeast 640 620 600 -3.0 659 597 543
Midwest 1,200 1,130 1,040 -2.4 1,193 1,064 917
South 2,060 2,050 1,940 1.0 2,032 1,834 1,683
West 1,140 1,110 1,080 -7.3 1,190 1,164 1,133
Single-Family Sales 4,430 4,320 4,070 -2.9 4,471 4,128 3,792
Median Price Total ($, NSA) 223,300 212,000 201,500 4.3 195,667 175,442 164,542
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