Comments on May Existing Home Sales
Earlier: NAR: Existing-Home Sales Increased to 5.34 million in May
A few key points:
1) The key for housing - and the overall economy - is new home sales, single family housing starts and overall residential investment.
Overall, this is still a somewhat reasonable level for existing home sales. No worries.
2) Inventory is still low, but was up 2.7% year-over-year (YoY) in May. This was the tenth consecutive month with a year-over-year increase in inventory, although the YoY increase was fairly small in May.
Click on graph for larger image.
3) Year-to-date sales are down about 3.3% compared to the same period in 2018. On an annual basis, that would put sales around 5.15 million in 2019. Sales slumped at the end of 2018 and in January 2019 due to higher mortgage rates, the stock market selloff, and fears of an economic slowdown.
The comparisons will be easier towards the end of the year.
The second graph shows existing home sales Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA).
Sales NSA in May (540,000, red column) were above sales in May 2018 (535,000, NSA), but sales were lower than in May 2017.