Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in April

From housing economist Tom Lawler:

Based on publicly available state and local realtor/MLS reports released through today, I project that US existing home sales as estimated by the National Association of Realtors ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.56 million in April, down 2.6% from March’s preliminary pace and up 1.5% from last April’s seasonally adjusted pace. Unadjusted sales as estimated by the NAR last month should be about 2.8% LOWER than last April’s pace, with the “adjusted/unadjusted” YOY growth difference reflecting this April’s lower business day count, as well as the different timing of Easter (April 16 this year vs. March 27 last year.)

On the inventory front, local realtor/MLS data suggest that the monthly increase in the number of homes for sale last month was slightly higher than last April’s increase, and I project that the NAR’s estimate of the existing home inventory for April will be 2.00 million, up 9.3% from March and down 5.7% from last April.

Finally, realtor/MLS suggest that the NAR’s estimate of the median existing single-family home sales price for April will be up about 7.0% from last April.

Areas that experienced a double-digit decline in YOY home sales included, but were not limited to, Portland (Oregon), Minneapolis, DC (city), San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, New Hampshire, South Central Wisconsin (includes Dane County), Spokane, Peoria, Springfield (Illinois), Louisville, and Grand Rapids.
emphasis added

CR Note: The NAR is scheduled to release existing home sales for April next Wednesday, May 24th. The early consensus is for sales of 5.71 million SAAR (take the under).

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