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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales Reach 2009 High; Prices Firm
by Tom Moeller  June 22, 2015

Sales of existing homes increased 5.1% (+5.1% y/y) last month to 5.350 million from 5.090 million during April, revised from 5.040 million. Sales were the highest since November 2009 and stronger than consensus expectations for 5.25 million in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Single-family home sales increased 5.6% last month (5.7% y/y) to 4.730 million following a 2.6% decline. Condo and co-op sales gained 1.6% (0.0% y/y) following no change.

The median sales price of an existing home increased 4.6% (7.9% y/y) to $228,700 from $218,700. The latest level was the highest since July 2006. The average sales price improved 3.4% (5.2% y/y) to $272,800. The composite index of home affordability fell 3.9% during April (-2.2% y/y) to its lowest level since last August.

By region, sales in the Northeast led last month's increase with an 11.3% improvement (6.9% y/y) to 690,000 while sales in the South rose 4.3% (3.1% y/y) to 2.180 million. Sales in the West also gained 4.3% (3.7% y/y) to 1.210 million and sales in the Midwest moved 4.1% higher (8.7% y/y) to 1.270 million.

The inventory of unsold homes increased 1.8% y/y. The months' supply of homes on the market held fairly steady at 5.0 months.

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) May Apr Mar Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012
Total 5,350 5,090 5,210 5.1 4,920 5,074 4,657
   Northeast 690 620 640 6.9 640 658 597
   Midwest 1,270 1,220 1,200 8.7 1,131 1,194 1,063
   South 2,180 2,090 2,190 3.1 2,048 2,032 1,834
   West 1,210 1,160 1,180 3.7 1,102 1,190 1,163
Single-Family Sales 4,730 4,480 4,600 5.7 4,334 4,473 4,125
Median Price Total ($, NSA) 228,700 218,700 210,700 7.9 206,708 195,667 175,433
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