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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales and Prices Weaken in October
by Tom Moeller  November 18, 2022

• Sales fall to lowest level since May 2020

• Decline spreads throughout the country.

• Prices slide to eight-month low.

Sales of existing homes declined 5.9% during October (-28.4% y/y) to 4.43 million units (SAAR) from an unrevised 4.71 million in September. Sales have fallen for nine consecutive months and were down 31.7% during that period. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected October sales of 4.35 million units.

Sales of single-family homes fell 6.4% (-28.2% y/y) in October to 3.95 million units. Sales have fallen in each month since January. Condo and co-op sales were off 2.0% (-30.4% y/y) in October following a 5.8% September shortfall.

The decline in total sales was most pronounced in the Western region of the country where they fell 9.1% (-37.5% y/y) to 800,000 after holding steady in September. Sales in the Northeast weakened 6.6% (-23.0% y/y) to 570,000 following a 1.6% September drop. Sales in the Midwest were off 5.3% (-25.5% y/y) in October to 1.08 million, down for the eighth month this year. Home sales in the South declined 4.8% (-27.2% y/y) to 1.98 million, down for the ninth consecutive month.

The number of existing homes for sale (NSA) fell 0.8% both m/m and y/y in October, the third straight month of decline. The months' supply of homes on the market (NSA) rose to 3.3 months at the current selling rate, the highest since June 2020. It's up from a record low of 1.6 months reached in January of this year. These figures date back to January 1999.

The median price of an existing home (NSA) fell 1.1% (+6.6% y/y) to $379,100, down for the fourth straight month. They were 8.4% below the June peak of $413,800. Prices declined last month in all four regions of the country.

The data on existing home sales, prices and affordability are compiled by the National Association of Realtors. The data on single-family home sales extend back to February 1968. Total sales and price data and regional sales can be found in Haver's USECON database. Regional price and affordability data and national inventory data are available in the REALTOR database. The expectations figure is from the Action Economics Forecast Survey, reported in the AS1REPNA database.

Getting Into the Zone from James Bullard, President & CEO, St. Louis Federal Reserve is available here.

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