NAR: Existing-Home Sales Decreased to 6.18 million in December

From the NAR: Annual Existing-Home Sales Hit Highest Mark Since 2006

Existing-home sales declined in December, snapping a streak of three straight months of gains, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Each of the four major U.S. regions witnessed sales fall in December from both a month-over-month and a year-over-year basis. Despite the drop, overall sales for 2021 increased 8.5%.

Total existing-home sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, dropped 4.6% from November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.18 million in December. From a year-over-year perspective, sales waned 7.1% (6.65 million in December 2020).

Total housing inventory at the end of December amounted to 910,000 units, down 18.0% from November and down 14.2% from one year ago (1.06 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 1.8-month supply at the present sales pace, down from 2.1 months in November and from 1.9 months in December 2020.
emphasis added

Existing Home SalesClick on graph for larger image.

This graph shows existing home sales, on a Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) basis since 1993.

Sales in December (6.18 million SAAR) were down 4.6% from last month and were 7.1% below the December 2020 sales rate.

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

Existing Home InventoryAccording to the NAR, inventory decreased to 0.91 million in December from 1.11 million in November.

Headline inventory is not seasonally adjusted, and inventory usually decreases to the seasonal lows in December and January, and peaks in mid-to-late summer.

The last graph shows the year-over-year (YoY) change in reported existing home inventory and months-of-supply. Since inventory is not seasonally adjusted, it really helps to look at the YoY change. Note: Months-of-supply is based on the seasonally adjusted sales and not seasonally adjusted inventory.

Year-over-year Inventory Inventory was down 14.2% year-over-year in December compared to December 2020.

Months of supply declined to 1.8 months in December from 2.1 months in November.

This was below the consensus forecast. I’ll have more later.

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