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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales Continue to Slide
by Tom Moeller  May 21, 2019

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes during April eased 0.4% (-4.4% y/y) to 5.190 million units (SAAR) after an unrevised March decline to 5.210 million. It was the lowest level of sales in three months. Sales of 5.33 million had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

The median price of all existing homes sold improved 2.9% (3.6% y/y) last month to $267,300 (NSA). Prices hit a record $273,800 last June. The average sales price rose 2.6% (2.5% y/y) to $305,200.

Existing home sales were mixed m/m around the country. Sales in the Northeast declined 4.5% both m/m and y/y to 640,000. In the South, sales eased 0.4% (-1.7% y/y) to 2.270 million. Existing home sales in the Midwest held steady (-7.9% y/y) at 1.170 million, but sales in the West improved 1.8% (-5.9% y/y) to 1.110 million.

Sales of existing single-family homes declined 1.1% (-4.0% y/y) to 4.620 million units, the fourth decline in the last five months. Sales of condos and co-ops rebounded 5.6% (-8.1% y/y) to 570,000 units.

The number of homes on the market increased 1.7% y/y. The months' supply of homes on the market rose to 4.2 up from a low of 3.1 months in December 2017.

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) Apr Mar Feb Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Total 5,190 5,210 5,480 -4.4 5,341 5,531 5,437
   Northeast 640 670 690 -4.5 689 735 733
   Midwest 1,170 1,170 1,270 -7.9 1,265 1,301 1,297
   South 2,270 2,280 2,360 -1.7 2,246 2,270 2,215
   West 1,110 1,090 1,160 -5.9 1,141 1,225 1,192
Single-Family 4,620 4,670 4,910 -4.0 4,742 4,907 4,822
Median Price Total ($, NSA) 267,300 259,700 250,100 3.6 257,267 245,950 232,067
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