Existing Home Sales: Two Months Of Gains Amid Falling Supply

September 19, 2019
Bottom Line: Existing home sales rose modestly in August to their xx level since March 2018. Home re-sales have averaged 5.40 million over the past 3 months and 5.33 million over the past 6 months, suggesting that the housing market is still improving modestly after 2018's slowdown. Inventories of homes available for sale dropped modestly, and the trend in months’ supply declined slightly. On a year-over-year basis, prices are still modestly higher. Overall the housing market remains tight with solid demand, but affordability still an issue in many regions. Existing Home Sales ROSE by 1.3% in August to 5.49 million, compared with market expectations for a decline to 5.38 million. There were no revisions to prior data. Home re-sales are now 2.6% ABOVE their year ago level but are 24.3% BELOW their September 2005 record high. The Inventory of Homes Available for Sale FELL by 2.1% to 1,860k and are now 2.6% BELOW their year ago level. Because inventories declined while sales increased, the Months Supply FELL to 4.1 months from 4.2 months. This is still well BELOW its July 2010 cyclical peak of 12.4 (which was its highest level since 1982) and even BELOW the 6 month level that is considered 'normal'. Home Prices ROSE compared to their year ago levels. Average home prices are 3.5% ABOVE their year ago levels while median home prices are 4.7% ABOVE their year ago levels.