Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| Feb 22 2024

U.S. Existing Home Sales Strengthen in January

  • Sales rise to five-month high.
  • Home prices fall to ten-month low.
  • Sales increase spans country, except Northeast.

Sales of existing homes increased 3.1% (-1.7% y/y) during January to 4.0 million (SAAR) from 3.88 million in December, revised from 3.78 million, and 3.91 million in November. Earlier figures were revised. Sales were at the highest level since August 2023, after the most recent peak of 6.60 million in January 2021. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected January sales of 3.98 million units. The sales figures are based on closings of sales signed in earlier months.

The median price of all existing homes (NSA) fell 0.6% (+5.1% y/y) to $379,100, the seventh consecutive month of price decline. Prices were 8.4% below the June 2022 peak of $413,800. The median price of an existing single-family home in January fell 0.6% (+5.0% y/y) to $383,500 after declining 1.6% in December. The median price for condos & co-ops weakened 1.2% (+5.7%) to $339,400 after falling 1.9% in December.

Single-family home sales rose 3.4% (-1.4% y/y) to 3.60 million units after a 0.6% December decline. Sales were 38.5% below their high of 5.85 million in October 2020. Condo and co-op sales held steady m/m (-4.8% y/y) at 400 ,000 after falling 2.4% in December. Sales have fallen 45.9% from their January 2021 high of 740,000.

Overall sales were mixed m/m across the country. Sales in the Midwest rose 2.2% (-3.1% y/y) to 950,000 last month after falling 2.1% in December. Sales in the South strengthened 4.0% (-1.6% y/y) in January to 1.84 million after falling 2.2% in December. Sales in the West strengthened 4.3% (2.8% y/y) to 730,000 after rising 4.5% in December. Sales in the Northeast remained unchanged (-5.9% y/y) at 480,000 after holding steady in December.

The number of existing homes for sale (NSA) rose 2.0% (3.1% y/y) to 1.01 million in January after declining 12.4% in December. The supply of homes on the market at the current selling rate (NSA) eased to 3.0 months from 3.1 months in December. The record low in supply of 1.6 months was reached in January, 2022. These figures date back to January 1999.

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.

  • Prior to joining Haver Analytics in 2000, Mr. Moeller worked as the Economist at Chancellor Capital Management from 1985 to 1999. There, he developed comprehensive economic forecasts and interpreted economic data for equity and fixed income portfolio managers. Also at Chancellor, Mr. Moeller worked as an equity analyst and was responsible for researching and rating companies in the economically sensitive automobile and housing industries for investment in Chancellor’s equity portfolio.   Prior to joining Chancellor, Mr. Moeller was an Economist at Citibank from 1979 to 1984.   He also analyzed pricing behavior in the metals industry for the Council on Wage and Price Stability in Washington, D.C.   In 1999, Mr. Moeller received the award for most accurate forecast from the Forecasters' Club of New York. From 1990 to 1992 he was President of the New York Association for Business Economists.   Mr. Moeller earned an M.B.A. in Finance from Fordham University, where he graduated in 1987. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from George Washington University.

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