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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales and Prices Increase
by Tom Moeller  June 21, 2019

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes rose 2.5% (-1.1% y/y) to 5.340 million (SAAR) during May after remaining unchanged in April at 5.210 million, revised from 5.190 million. It was the highest level of sales in three months and sales were up 8.3% from the recent low during January. Sales of 5.25 million had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

The median price of all existing homes sold increased 4.0% (4.8% y/y) last month to a record $277,700 (NSA). The average sales price rose 3.0% (3.4% y/y) to $314,000.

Existing home sales rose throughout the country during May. Sales in the Northeast rebounded 4.7% (0.0% y/y) to 670,000 and reversed the decline in April. Existing home sales in the Midwest improved 3.4% (-3.9% y/y) to 1.220 million following a 0.9% rise. In the South, sales rose 1.8% (1.3% y/y) to 2.320 million after holding steady m/m. Sales in the West gained 1.8% (-3.4% y/y) to 1.130 million, the same percentage increase as in April.

Sales of existing single-family homes increased 2.6% (-0.8% y/y) to 4.750 million units. Sales of condos and co-ops rose 1.7% (-3.3% y/y) to 590,000 units, the highest level since October.

The number of homes on the market increased 2.7% y/y. The months' supply of homes on the market rose to 4.3 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.

President Bullard Explains His Recent FOMC Dissent from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is available here.

Existing Home Sales (SAAR, 000s) May Apr Mar Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Total 5,340 5,210 5,210 -1.1 5,341 5,531 5,437
   Northeast 670 640 670 0.0 689 735 733
   Midwest 1,220 1,180 1,170 -3.9 1,265 1,301 1,297
   South 2,320 2,280 2,280 1.3 2,246 2,270 2,215
   West 1,130 1,110 1,090 -3.4 1,141 1,225 1,192
Single-Family 4,750 4,630 4,670 -0.8 4,742 4,907 4,822
Median Price Total ($, NSA) 277,700 266,900 259,700 4.8 257,267 245,950 232,067
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