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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales Rise, But Are Mixed by Region
by Carol Stone, CBE  November 21, 2019

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that sales of existing homes rose 1.9% (+4.6% y/y) during October to 5.460 million from 5.36 million in September, revised from 5.380 million. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected September sales of 5.49 million.

The median price of all existing homes sold edged down 0.2% (+6.2% y/y) to $270,900. The average sales price rose 0.1% (+4.7% y/y) last month to $307,800. These price data are not seasonally adjusted.

Existing home sales were mixed around the country in October. They increased noticeably in the South, by 4.4% (+7.8% y/y) to 2.350 million, reversing a 3.4% decrease in September. They were also up in the Midwest in October, rising 1.6% (2.4% y/y) to 1.290 million, more than reversing a 3.1% fall the month before. Month-to-month declines came in the Northeast in October, 1.4% (unchanged y/y) to 690,000, the same size fall as in September, and also in the West, 0.9% (+3.7% y/y) to 1.130 million, also the same size fall as in September.

Sales of existing single-family homes rose 2.1% (+5.4% y/y) to 4.870 million units after declining 2.9% in September. Sales of condos and co-ops were unchanged at 590,000 units (-1.7% y/y).

The number of homes on the market declined 4.3% y/y. The months' supply of homes on the market decreased m/m to 3.9 from 4.1; there is some seasonality in this measure, and on a year-to=year basis it compares to 4.3 months in October 2018.

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) Oct Sep Aug  Y/Y % 2018 2017 2016
Total 5,460 5,360 5,500 4.6 5,341 5,531 5,437
   Northeast 690 700 710 0.0 689 735 733
   Midwest 1,290 1,270 1,310 2.4 1,265 1,301 1,297
   South 2,350 2,250 2,330 7.8 2,246 2,270 2,215
   West 1,130 1,140 1,150 3.7 1,141 1,225 1,192
Single-Family 4,870 4,770 4,910 5.4 4,742 4,907 4,822
Median Price Total ($, NSA) 270,900 271,500 278,900 6.2 257,267 245,950 232,067
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