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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales Decline
by Tom Moeller  October 22, 2019

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that sales of existing homes fell 2.2% (+3.9% y/y) during September to 5.380 million from 5.50 million in August, revised from 5.490 million. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected September sales of 5.45 million.

The median price of all existing homes sold declined 2.4% (+5.9% y/y) to $272,100, down for the third consecutive month. The average sales price fell 2.1% (+4.2% y/y) last month to $308,500. These price data are not seasonally adjusted.

Existing home sales fell throughout the country last month, Sales fell 2.8% (+1.5 y/y) in the Northeast to 690,000 after a 7.6% August gain. Sales in the Midwest backpedaled 3.1% to 1.270 million, unchanged y/y, reversing August's increase. Sales in the South fell 2.1% (+6.0% y/y) to 2.280 million after a 0.9% rise in July. In the West sales eased 0.9% (+5.6% y/y) to 1.140 million following a 2.5% decline.

Sales of existing single-family homes decreased 2.6% (+3.9% y/y) to 4.780 million units after a 1.4% August rise. Sales of condos and co-ops rose 1.7% (3.4% y/y) to 600,000 units.

The number of homes on the market declined 2.7% y/y. The months' supply of homes on the market edged higher m/m to 4.1, but remained 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) Sep Aug Jul  Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Total 5,380 5,500 5,420 3.9 5,341 5,531 5,437
   Northeast 690 710 660 1.5 689 735 733
   Midwest 1,270 1,310 1,270 0.0 1,265 1,301 1,297
   South 2,280 2,330 2,310 6.0 2,246 2,270 2,215
   West 1,140 1,150 1,180 5.6 1,141 1,225 1,192
Single-Family 4,780 4,910 4,840 3.9 4,742 4,907 4,822
Median Price Total ($, NSA) 272,100 278,900 280,400 5.9 257,267 245,950 232,067
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