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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales Decline to One-Year Low
by Tom Moeller  September 20, 2017

Sales of existing homes fell 1.7% (+0.2% y/y) during August to 5.350 million units (AR) from an unrevised 5.440 million in July. It was the lowest volume of sales since August 2016. Expectations were for 5.470 million sales in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

Sales of existing single-family homes fell 2.1% (+0.4% y/y) to 4.740 million units while sales of co-ops and condos rose 1.7% (-1.6% y/y) to 610,000.

By region, total existing home sales in the South were reduced 5.7% (-0.9% y/y) to 2.150 million units, reflecting the effects of Hurricane Harvey, following a 2.2% rise in July. Home sales in the West were off 4.8% (+0.8% y/y) to 1.200 million after a 5.0% gain. In the Northeast, existing home sales strengthened 10.8% (1.4% y/y) to 720,000 after a 14.5% drop. Home sales in the Midwest gained 2.4% (0.8% y/y) to 1.280 million after a 5.3% decline.

The median price of all existing homes sold decreased 1.8% (+5.6% y/y) to $253,500.

The number of homes on the market declined 2.1% (-6.5% y/y) to 1.88 million. There was a 4.2 months' supply of those homes available for sale, up from a recent low of 3.5 months in January.

The data on existing home sales, prices and affordability are compiled by the National Association of Realtors and 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) Aug Jul Jun Y/Y % 2016 2015 2014
Total 5,350 5,440 5,510 0.2 5,440 5,234 4,923
   Northeast 720 650 760 1.4 735 685 641
   Midwest 1,280 1,250 1,320 0.8 1,296 1,231 1,134
   South 2,150 2,280 2,230 -0.9 2,217 2,148 2,048
   West 1,200 1,260 1,200 0.8 1,193 1,170 1,100
Single-Family 4,740 4,840 4,880 0.4 4,828 4,624 4,333
Median Price Total ($, NSA) 253,500 258,100 263,300 5.6 232,067 219,867 206,708
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