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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales and Prices Firm
by Tom Moeller  April 20, 2016

Sales of existing homes increased 5.1% (1.5% y/y) to 5.330 million (SAAR) during March from 5.070 million in February, revised from 5.080 million. The gain followed February's 7.3% decline and extended a pattern of volatile sideways movement since last spring. It outpaced the improvement to 5.24 million sales expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Existing single-family home sales rose 5.5% (2.6% y/y) following a 7.2% decline.

The median price of a previously owned home increased 5.7% y/y to $222,700 from an upwardly revised $212,100. The average price of an existing home increased 5.8% y/y to $224,300.

Home sales were strongest last month in the Northeast where they posted an 11.1% gain (7.7% y/y) to 700,000. That rise was followed by a 9.8% increase (0.8% y/y) in the Midwest to 1.230 million. Previously owned home sales in the South followed with a 2.7% gain (2.3% y/y) to 2.250 million. Sales in the West gained 1.8% (-2.5% y/y) to 1.150 million.

The number of existing homes on the market declined 1.5% y/y, and the months' supply of homes rose to 4.5, about where it's been for three years.

The data on existing home sales, prices and affordability 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.

Savings after Retirement: A Survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago can be found here.

Existing Home Sales (SAAR, 000s) Mar Feb Jan Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013
Total 5,330 5,070 5,470 1.5 5,254 4,935 5,087
   Northeast 700 630 760 7.7 691 645 658
   Midwest 1,230 1,120 1,300 0.8 1,224 1,131 1,194
   South 2,250 2,190 2,240 2.3 2,151 2,051 2,040
   West 1,150 1,130 1,170 -2.5 1,172 1,103 1,188
Single-Family Sales 4,760 4,510 4,860 2.6 4,626 4,344 4,484
Median Price Total ($, NSA) 222,700 212,100 213,700 5.7 219,867 206,708 195,667
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