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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales Weaken as Prices Rise
by Tom Moeller  April 22, 2019

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes fell 4.9% (-5.4% y/y) during March to 5.210 million units (SAAR). The decline reversed half of February's strengthening to 5.480 million units, revised from 5.510 million. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected sales of 5.30 million units.

The median price of all existing homes sold improved 3.7% m/m (3.8% y/y) to $259,400. The average sales price strengthened 3.0% m/m to $297,200 (2.5% y/y). Sales price data are not seasonally adjusted.

Existing home sales declined m/m throughout the country. Sales in the Midwest fell 7.9% to 1.170 million units (-8.6% y/y). In the West, sales were off 6.0% to 1.090 million units (-10.7% y/y. Sales in the South declined 3.4% to 2.280 million units (-2.1% y/y), while in the Northeast sales eased 2.9% to 670,000 units (-1.5% y/y).

Sales of existing single-family homes declined 4.9% (-4.7% y/y) to 4.670 million units. Sales of condos and co-ops fell 5.3% (-11.5% y/y) to 540,000 units.

The number of homes on the market increased 2.4% y/y. The months' supply of homes on the market rose to 3.9, but still was down from a high of 4.4 months in September.

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. 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.

Online Retailing, Self-Employment Disrupt Inflation from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is available here.

Existing Home Sales (SAAR, 000s) Mar Feb Jan Mar Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Total 5,210 5,480 4,930 -5.4 5,341 5,531 5,437
   Northeast 670 690 690 -1.5 689 735 733
   Midwest 1,170 1,270 1,160 -8.6 1,265 1,301 1,297
   South 2,280 2,360 2,080 -2.1 2,246 2,270 2,215
   West 1,090 1,160 1,000 -10.7 1,141 1,225 1,192
Single-Family 4,670 4,910 4,360 -4.7 4,742 4,907 4,822
Median Price Total ($, NSA) 259,400 250,100 249,300 3.8 257,267 245,950 232,067
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