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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales Ease, as Prices Also Dip
by Carol Stone, CBE  August 24, 2017

Sales of existing homes fell 1.3% (+2.1% y/y) during July to 5.440 million units (AR) from a slightly revised 5.510 million in June. It was the lowest volume of sales since August 2016. Expectations were for 5.570 million sales in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

Sales of existing single-family homes fell 0.8% (+1.7% y/y) to 4.840 million while sales of co-ops and condos dropped 4.8% (+5.3% y/y) to 600,000.

By region, total existing home sales fell the most in the northeast, 14.5% (-1.5% y/y), to 650,000 from 760,000 in June. Sales in the Midwest fell 5.3% (-1.6% y/y) to 1.250 million from 1.320 million. But sales improved in the west, 5.0% (+5.0%) to 1.260 million from 1.200 million, and those in the south gained 2.2% (+3.6% y/y) in July to 2.280 million from 2.230 million in June.

The median price of all existing homes sold decreased 1.9% (6.2% y/y) to $258,300.

The number of homes on the market was down 1.0% (-9.0% y/y) to 1.92 million. There was a 4.2 months' supply of those homes available for sale, up from a recent low of 3.5 months in January, but down from 4.8 months a year ago.

The data on existing home sales, prices and affordability are compiled by the National Association of Realtors and 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.

Existing Home Sales (SAAR, 000s) Jul Jun May Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Total 5,440 5,510 5,620 2.1 5,440 5,234 4,923
   Northeast 650 760 780 -1.5 735 685 641
   Midwest 1,250 1,320 1,280 -1.6 1,296 1,231 1,134
   South 2,280 2,230 2,340 3.6 2,217 2,148 2,048
   West 1,260 1,200 1,220 5.0 1,193 1,170 1,100
Single-Family 4,840 4,880 4,980 1.7 4,828 4,624 4,333
Median Price Total ($, NSA) 258,300 263,300 252,500 6.2 232,067 219,867 206,708
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