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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales Decline While Prices Rise
by Tom Moeller  June 20, 2018

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes fell 0.4% (-3.0% y/y) during May to 5.430 million units (AR) following a 2.7% April decline to 5.450 million units, revised from 5.460 million. It was the lowest level of sales since January. Expectations had been for 5.40 million sales in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

The median price of all existing homes sold rose 2.7% to $264,800 (4.9% y/y) from $257,900. The average sales price strengthened 1.9% to a record $303,500 (3.1% y/y).

Sales of existing single-family homes slipped 0.6% last month (-3.0% y/y) to 4.810 million units. Sales of co-ops and condos increased 1.6% (-3.1% y/y) to 620,000.

The number of homes on the market declined 6.1% y/y. The supply of homes rose slightly to 4.1 months, up modestly from the record low reached in December.

By region, home sales in the Northeast increased 4.6% (-11.7% y/y) to 680,000 units. Home sales in the Midwest declined 2.3% both m/m and y/y to 1.260 million units. Sales in the South eased 0.4% (0.0% y/y) to 2.320 million units. In the West, sales slipped 0.8% (-4.1% y/y) to 1.170 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.

Monetary Policy at a Time of Uncertainty and Tight Labor Markets from Fed Chairman Jerome H. Powell can be found here.

Existing Home Sales (SAAR, 000s) May Apr Mar Y/Y % 2017 2016 2015
Total 5,430 5,450 5,600 -3.0 5,536 5,441 5,228
   Northeast 680 650 680 -11.7 737 735 684
   Midwest 1,260 1,290 1,290 -2.3 1,304 1,298 1,231
   South 2,320 2,330 2,400 0.0 2,270 2,217 2,147
   West 1,170 1,180 1,230 -4.1 1,225 1,192 1,167
Single-Family 4,810 4,840 4,990 -3.0 4,910 4,825 4,623
Median Price Total ($, NSA) 264,800 257,900 249,800 4.9 245,950 232,067 219,867
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