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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales and Prices Ease
by Tom Moeller  August 22, 2018

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes during July moved 0.7% lower (-1.5% y/y) to 5.340 million (AR), following an unrevised 5.380 million during June. It was the fourth consecutive month of decline to the lowest level of sales since February 2016. Expectations had been for 5.41 million sales in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

The median price of all existing homes sold declined 1.5% last month (+4.5% y/y) to $269,600 from the revised record of $273,800. The average sales price fell 1.3% (+3.0% y/y) to $307,800.

Sales of existing single-family homes eased 0.2% last month (-1.2% y/y) to 4.750 million units from 4.760 million. Sales of co-ops and condos declined 4.8% (-3.3% y/y) to 590,000.

The number of homes on the market held steady y/y. The supply of homes on the market also was unchanged at 4.3 months, up from the record low of 3.2 months reached in December.

By region, home sales in the Northeast led last month's total sales decline by falling 8.3% (-1.5% y/y) to 660,000 units. Home sales in the Midwest eased 1.6% (-0.8% y/y) to 1.250 million units. Sales in the South slipped 0.4% both m/m and y/y to 2.240 million units. Moving 4.4% higher were sales in the West to 1.190 million units (-4.0% y/y).

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.

The minutes to the latest FOMC meeting are available here.

Existing Home Sales (SAAR, 000s) Jul Jun May Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Total 5,340 5,380 5,410 -1.5 5,536 5,441 5,228
   Northeast 660 720 680 -1.5 737 735 684
   Midwest 1,250 1,270 1,260 -0.8 1,304 1,298 1,231
   South 2,240 2,250 2,300 -0.4 2,270 2,217 2,147
   West 1,190 1,140 1,170 -4.0 1,225 1,192 1,167
Single-Family 4,750 4,760 4,790 -1.2 4,910 4,825 4,623
Median Price Total ($, NSA) 269,600 273,800 265,100 4.5 245,950 232,067 219,867
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