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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales Decline While Prices Rise
by Tom Moeller  May 24, 2018

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes declined 2.5% during April (-1.4% y/y) to 5.460 million units (AR) following an unrevised 1.1% March gain to 5.600 million units. It was the lowest level of sales in three months. Expectations had been for 5.70 million sales in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

The median price of all existing homes sold rose to $257,900 (5.3% y/y) from $249,800. The average sales price increased to $297,300 (3.3% y/y).

Sales of existing single-family homes declined 3.0% last month (-1.6% y/y) to 4.840 million units. Sales of co-ops and condos increased 1.6% (0.0% y/y) to 620,000.

The number of homes on the market declined 6.3% y/y. The supply of homes rose slightly to 4.0 months but remained near the record low.

By region, home sales in the Northeast decreased 4.4% (-11.0% y/y) to 650,000 units. Home sales in the Midwest held steady at 1.290 million units (-3.0% y/y). Sales in the South decreased 2.9% (+2.2% y/y) to 2.330 million units. In the West, sales eased 3.3% (-0.8% y/y) to 1.190 million units.

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.

The minutes to the latest FOMC meeting can be found here.

Existing Home Sales (SAAR, 000s) Apr Mar Feb Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Total 5,460 5,600 5,540 -1.4 5,536 5,441 5,228
   Northeast 650 680 640 -11.0 737 735 684
   Midwest 1,290 1,290 1,220 -3.0 1,304 1,298 1,231
   South 2,330 2,400 2,410 2.2 2,270 2,217 2,147
   West 1,190 1,230 1,270 -0.8 1,225 1,192 1,167
Single-Family 4,840 4,990 4,960 -1.6 4,910 4,825 4,623
Median Price Total ($, NSA) 257,900 249,800 240,900 5.3 245,950 232,067 219,867
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