Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in April

From housing economist Tom Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in April

Based on publicly-available local realtor/MLS reports from across the country released through today, I project that existing home sales as estimated by the National Association of Realtors ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million in April, down 2.1% from March’s preliminary pace and down 1.1% from last April’s seasonally adjusted pace. Unadjusted sales should show a YOY gain, with the SA/NSA difference reflecting this April’s higher business day count relative to last April’s.

Local realtor/MLS data, as well as tracking sources, indicate that the inventory of existing homes for sale in April was down from a year ago but that the YOY decline in April was less than that in March. I project that the NAR’s estimate of the number of existing homes for sale at the end of April will be 1.81 million, up 8.4% from March’s preliminary estimate and down 5.7% from last April.

Finally, local realtor/MLS data suggest the median US existing single-family home sales price last month was up about 7.0% from last April. Note, however, that of late the NAR’s median existing home sales prices have shown lower YOY gains than local realtor/MLS data would have suggested, for reasons that are not clear.

CR Note: Existing home sales for April are scheduled to be released by the NAR on Thursday, May 24th. The early consensus is the NAR will report sales of 5.57 Million SAAR.

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