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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales Fall Back
by Tom Moeller  May 21, 2015

Sales of existing homes declined 3.3% (+5.5% y/y) to 5.040 million (AR) in April after a 6.5% rise during March to 5.210, million, revised from 5.190 million. Sales disappointed consensus expectations for 5.22 million in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Single-family home sales fell 3.7% last month (+6.3% y/y) to 4.430 million following a 5.7% rise. Condo and co-op sales were unchanged both m/m and y/y at 0.600 million, the highest level since October.

The median sales price of an existing home increased 4.1% (8.9% y/y) to $219,400 from $210,700. Prices remained 1.2% lower than the June peak. The average sales price improved 3.2% (5.5% y/y) to $264,500. The index of home affordability fell 5.1% during March (-1.2% y/y) to its lowest level this year.

By region, sales in the Northeast fell 3.1% (0.0% y/y) to 620,000 while sales in the South declined 6.8% (+2.9% y/y) to 2.040 million. Sales in the West were off 1.7% (+5.9% y/y) to 1.16 million but sales in the Midwest moved 1.7% higher (13.0% y/y) to 1.220 million.

The inventory of unsold homes declined 0.9% y/y. The months' supply of homes on the market rose sharply to 5.3 months, the highest level since September.

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.

The minutes to the latest FOMC meeting can be found here.

Existing Home Sales (SAAR, 000s) Apr Mar Feb Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012
Total 5,040 5,210 4,890 5.5 4,920 5,074 4,657
   Northeast 620 640 580 0.0 640 658 597
   Midwest 1,220 1,200 1,090 13.0 1,131 1,194 1,063
   South 2,040 2,190 2,110 2.9 2,048 2,032 1,834
   West 1,160 1,180 1,110 5.9 1,102 1,190 1,163
Single-Family Sales 4,430 4,600 4,350 6.3 4,334 4,473 4,125
Median Price Total ($, NSA) 219,400 210,700 201,900 8.9 206,708 195,667 175,433
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