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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales And Prices Ease
by Tom Moeller  September 21, 2015

Sales of existing homes declined 4.8% (-5.4% y/y) during August to 5.310 million (AR) from 5.580 million in July, revised from 5.590 million. July sales were the strongest since February 2007. The latest figure fell short of expectations for 5.50 million sales in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Single-family home sales fell 5.3% last month to 4.690 million (+5.2% y/y). Condo and co-op sales eased 1.6% (+7.3% y/y) after a 3.1% decline.

The median sales price of an existing home fell 1.3% to $228,700 (+4.7% y/y) and was down from June's record $236,300. The average sales price fell 1.6% to $271,600 (+3.0% y/y).

By region, sales in the Northeast held steady at 0.700 million (5.9% y/y) after July's 2.8% decline. In the Midwest, sales eased 1.5% (+5.2% y/y) to 1.280 million and repeated the July drop. Sales in the West retreated 7.8% (+4.9% y/y) to 1.190 million following a 4.0% rise. In the South, sales declined 6.6% (+5.7% y/y) to 2.140 million on the heels of a 4.1% July increase.

The composite index of home affordability fell to 151.2 in July, its lowest level since November 2008. Payments as a percent of income rose to 16.5%, up from 11.7% in January 2013.

The inventory of unsold homes declined 1.7% y/y to 2.290 million. The months supply of homes on the market rose to 5.2 months, down from the 11.9 month high in July 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.

U.S. Output Growth Moderately Strong Amid Slower Global Growth from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is available here.

Existing Home Sales (SAAR, 000s) Aug Jul Jun Y/Y % 2014 2013 2012
Total 5,310 5,580 5,480 5.4 4,935 5,087 4,656
   Northeast 700 700 720 5.9 645 658 596
   Midwest 1,280 1,300 1,320 5.2 1,136 1,201 1,068
   South 2,140 2,290 2,200 5.7 2,051 2,040 1,834
   West 1,190 1,290 1,240 4.9 1,103 1,188 1,158
Single-Family Sales 4,690 4,950 4,830 5.2 4,334 4,473 4,125
Median Price Total ($, NSA) 228,700 231,800 236,300 4.7 206,708 195,667 175,433
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