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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales and Prices Increase
by Tom Moeller  June 21, 2017

Sales of existing single-family homes increased 1.1% during May to 5.620 million (AR, 2.7% y/y) from 5.560 million in April, revised from 5.770 million. Expectations had been for 5.540 million purchases in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Sales of existing single-family homes rose 1.0% (2.7% y/y) to 4.980 million units from 4.930 million in April. Sales of condos & co-ops rose 1.6% (3.2% y/y) to 640,000, the highest level since January. The figures are reported by the National Association of Realtors.

The median price of all previously owned homes increased 3.2% (5.8% y/y) to a record $252,800. The average price of an existing home improved 3.4% to $254,600 (6.0% y/y), also a record.

The number of homes on the market declined 8.4% y/y to 1.960 million. The months' sales supply of homes improved to 4.2, the highest level since October.

The increase in home sales last month reflected a 6.8% rise (2.6% y/y) in the Northeast to 780,000 after a 2.7% decline. Home sales in the West improved 3.4% (3.4% y/y) to 1.220 million and made up a 3.3% fall. Sales in the South gained 2.2% (4.5% y/y) to 2.340 million following a 5.4% drop. To the downside were sales in the Midwest which fell 5.9% (-0.8% y/y) to 1.280 million after a 3.8% rise.

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 Forecast Survey, reported in the AS1REPNA database.

Low Interest Rates and Bank Profits from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is available here.

Existing Home Sales (SAAR, 000s) May Apr Mar Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Total 5,620 5,560 5,700 2.7 5,440 5,234 4,923
   Northeast 780 730 750 2.6 735 685 641
   Midwest 1,280 1,360 1,310 -0.8 1,296 1,231 1,134
   South 2,340 2,290 2,420 4.5 2,217 2,148 2,048
   West 1,220 1,180 1,220 3.4 1,193 1,170 1,100
Single-Family 4,980 4,930 5,070 2.7 4,828 4,624 4,333
Median Price Total ($, NSA) 252,800 245,000 236,600 5.8 232,067 219,867 206,708
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