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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales Rebound
by Tom Moeller  October 20, 2016

Sales of existing homes increased 3.2% (0.6% y/y) in September to 5.470 million units (AR) following a 1.5% decline to 5.300 million in August, revised from 5.330 million. Expectations had been for 5.32 million sales in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Sales of existing single-family homes improved 4.1% last month (0.6% y/y) to 4.860 million following two months of decline. Sales of condos & co-ops declined 3.2% (0.0% y/y) to 610,000 after a 10.5% increase. The figures are reported by the National Association of Realtors.

The median price of all previously owned homes declined 2.4% (+5.6% y/y) to $234,200 from a downwardly revised $239,900. 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 fell to $276,200 (+4.2% y/y).

Improvement in sales was reported around the country. Sales rose 5.7% (0.0% y/y) in the Northeast to 740,000. In the West, sales increased 5.0% (1.6% y/y) to 1.250 million. Sales gained 3.9% in the Midwest (2.3% y/y) to 1.320 million, and sales in the South improved 0.9% (-0.9% y/y) to 2.260 million.

The total inventory of homes on the market declined 6.8% y/y to 2.040 million. The months' sales supply of homes ticked lower to 4.5, down from 4.8 months during all of last year and 5.2 months in 2014.

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) Sep Aug Jul Y/Y % 2015 2014 2013
Total 5,470 5,300 5,380 0.6 5,254 4,935 5,087
   Northeast 740 700 660 0.0 691 645 658
   Midwest 1,320 1,270 1,280 2.3 1,240 1,136 1,201
   South 2,160 2,140 2,220 -0.9 2,151 2,051 2,040
   West 1,250 1,190 1,220 1.6 1,172 1,103 1,188
Single-Family 4,860 4,700 4,810 0.6 4,626 4,344 4,484
Median Price Total ($, NSA) 234,200 239,900 243,300 5.6 219,867 206,708 195,667
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