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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales and Prices Strengthen
by Tom Moeller  July 21, 2016

Sales of existing homes rose 1.1% (3.0% y/y) during June to 5.570 million (AR) after a May increase to 5.510 million, revised from 5.530 million. The latest level was the highest since February 2007. It surpassed expectations for 5.47 million sales in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Sales of existing single-family homes gained 0.8% last month (3.1% y/y) to 4.920 million. Sales of condos & cops rose 3.2% (1.6% y/y) to 650,000.

The median price of all previously owned homes increased 3.7% to $247,700 (4.8% y/y) from $238,900. 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 improved 4.0% to $292,100 (4.2% y/y).

Home sales were strongest last month in the Midwest where they rose 3.8% (4.7% y/y) to 1.350 million. Home sales in the West increased 1.7% (-0.8% y/y) to 1.200 million. In the South, sales remained unchanged (3.2% y/y) at 2.260, and in the Northeast sales declined 1.3% (+5.6% y/y) to 760,000.

The number of existing homes on the market declined 5.8% y/y, and the months' supply of homes eased to 4.6, 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) Jun May Apr Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013
Total 5,570 5,510 5,430 3.0 5,254 4,935 5,087
   Northeast 760 770 740 5.6 691 645 658
   Midwest 1,350 1,300 1,390 4.7 1,240 1,136 1,201
   South 2,260 2,260 2,180 3.2 2,151 2,051 2,040
   West  1,200 1,180 1,120 -0.8 1,172 1,103 1,188
Single-Family 4,920 4,880 4,810 3.1 4,626 4,344 4,484
Median Price Total ($, NSA) 247,700 238,900 230,900 4.8 219,867 206,708 195,667
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