The NAR reports: Existing-Home Sales Spike in July
Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 6.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million in July from a downwardly revised 5.06 million in June, and are 17.2 percent above the 4.60 million-unit pace in July 2012; sales have remained above year-ago levels for 25 months.
Total housing inventory at the end of July rose 5.6 percent to 2.28 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 5.1-month supply at the current sales pace, unchanged from June. Listed inventory is 5.0 percent below a year ago, when there was a 6.3-month supply.
This graph shows existing home sales, on a Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) basis since 1993.
Sales in July 2013 (5.39 million SAAR) were 6.5% higher than last month, and were 17.2% above the July 2012 rate.
The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.
According to the NAR, inventory increased to 2.28 million in July up from 2.16 million in June. Inventory is not seasonally adjusted, and inventory usually increases from 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.
Inventory decreased 5.0% year-over-year in July compared to July 2012. This is the 29th consecutive month with a YoY decrease in inventory, and the smallest YoY decrease since early 2011 (I expect the YoY change in inventory to turn positive soon).
Months of supply was at 5.1 months in July.
This was above expectations of sales of 5.13 million (but very close to economist Tom Lawler’s forecast of 5.33 million). For existing home sales, the key number is inventory – and inventory is still down year-over-year, although the declines are slowing. This was another solid report. I’ll have more later …