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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales & Prices Strengthen
by Tom Moeller  March 21, 2018

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes increased 3.0% during February (1.1% y/y) to 5.540 million (AR) from an unrevised 5.380 million in January. Expectations were for 5.41 million sales in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

The median price of all existing homes sold rose to $241,700 (5.9% y/y) from $240,800. The average sales price eased to $281,200 (+4.3% y/y).

Sales of existing single-family homes improved 4.2% last month (1.8% y/y) to 4.960 million units. Sales of co-ops and condos declined 6.5% (-4.9% y/y) to 580,000, the lowest level since November 2015.

The number of homes on the market declined 8.1% y/y. The supply of homes held steady at 3.4 months and remained near the record low.

By region, total existing home sales in the West increased 11.4% (2.4% y/y) to 1.270 million units. In the South, sales improved 6.6% (3.4% y/y) to 2.410 million units. Working lower were sales in the Northeast, off 12.3% (-7.2% y/y) to 640,000 units. Home sales in the Midwest fell 2.4% (unchanged y/y) to 1.220 million units.

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) Feb Jan Dec Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Total 5,540 5,380 5,560  1.1 5,536 5,441 5,228
   Northeast 640 730 740 -7.2 737 735 684
   Midwest 1,220 1,250 1,330 0.0 1,304 1,298 1,231
   South 2,410 2,260 2,290 3.4 2,270 2,217 2,147
   West 1,270 1,140 1,200 2.4 1,225 1,192 1,167
Single-Family 4,960 4,760 4,950 1.8 4,910 4,825 4,623
Median Price Total ($, NSA) 241,700 240,800 246,500 5.9 245,950 232,067 219,867
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