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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales Reach Highest Level Since 2007
by Tom Moeller  June 22, 2016

Sales of existing homes increased 1.8% (4.5% y/y) during May to 5.530 million (SAAR) from 5.430 million in April, revised from 5.450 million. The latest level was the highest since February 2007. It surpassed expectations for 5.55 million sales in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Sales of existing single-family homes gained 1.9% last month (4.7% y/y) to 4.900 million. Sales of condos & cops rose 1.6% (3.3% y/y) to 630,000.

The median price of all previously owned homes increased 3.8% to $239,700 (4.7% y/y) from $230,900, revised from $232,500. Annualized growth in prices has been roughly steady for the past two years, but falls short of the double-digit increases in 2013. The average price of an existing home increased 3.0% to $281,700 (3.2% y/y).

Home sales were strongest last month in the West where they posted a 5.4% rise (-1.7% y/y) to 1.180 million. Home sales in the South followed with a 4.6% rise (6.5% y/y) to 2.280 million. Home sales in the Northeast increased 4.1% (11.6% y/y) to 770,000, but they declined 6.5% (+3.2% y/y) to 1.300 million in the Midwest.

The number of existing homes on the market declined 5.7% y/y, but the months' supply of homes held at 4.7, 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.

Existing Home Sales (SAAR, 000s) May Apr Mar Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013
Total 5,530 5,430 5,360 4.5 5,254 4,935 5,087
   Northeast 770 740 720 11.6 691 645 658
   Midwest 1,300 1,390 1,240 3.2 1,240 1,136 1,201
   South 2,280 2,180 2,250 6.5 2,151 2,051 2,040
   West 1,180 1,120 1,150 -1.7 1,172 1,103 1,188
Single-Family 4,900 4,810 4,780 4.7 4,626 4,344 4,484
Median Price Total ($, NSA) 239,700 230,900 221,500 4.7 219,867 206,708 195,667
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