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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales Hold Steady
by Tom Moeller  September 20, 2018

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes during August were unchanged at 5.340 million (SAAR, -1.5%). July's figure was unrevised. Sales remained at the lowest level since February 2016, down 6.6% versus the November peak. Expectations had been for 5.37 million sales in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

The median price of all existing homes sold declined 1.7% last month (+4.6% y/y) to $264,800, down 3.3% from the June record of $273,800. The average sales price fell 1.4% for a second month (+3.0% y/y) to $303,200.

Sales of existing single-family homes held steady last month (-1.0% y/y) at 4.750 million units. Sales of co-ops & condos also were unchanged (-4.8% y/y) at 590,000.

The number of homes on the market increased 2.7% y/y. The supply of homes on the market was unchanged at 4.3 months, up from the record low of 3.2 months in December.

By region, home sales in the Northeast rose 7.6% (-2.7% y/y) to 710,000 units and reversed most of July's decline. Home sales in the Midwest increased 2.4% (-0.8% y/y) to 1.280 million units. Sales in the South slipped 0.4% (+1.8% y/y) for a second straight month to 2.230 million units. Sales in the West fell 5.9% (-7.4% y/y) to 1.120 million.

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) Aug Jul Jun Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Total 5,340 5,340 5,380 -1.5 5,536 5,441 5,228
   Northeast 710 660 720 -2.7 737 735 684
   Midwest 1,280 1,250 1,270 -0.8 1,304 1,298 1,231
   South 2,230 2,240 2,250 1.8 2,270 2,217 2,147
   West 1,120 1,190 1,140 -7.4 1,225 1,192 1,167
Single-Family 4,750 4,750 4,760 -1.0 4,910 4,825 4,623
Median Price Total ($, NSA) 264,800 269,300 273,800 4.6 245,950 232,067 219,867
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