Existing Home Sales: Sales Rise, Inventories Climb, Prices Increase

May 20, 2016
Bottom Line: Existing home sales rose modestly in April, more than expectations, to their highest level since January. Home re-sales have averaged 5.29 million over the past 3 months and 5.28 million over the past 6 months, suggesting that the housing market is still improving. Inventories of homes available for sale climbed moderately; and the trend in months’ supply rose modestly. On a year-over-year basis, prices are now moderately higher. Existing Home Sales ROSE by 1.7% in April to 5.45 million, the highest level since January, compared with market expectations for an increase to 5.40 million. The prior month was revised up from 5.33 to 5.36 million. Home re-sales are now 6.0% ABOVE their year ago level but they are still 24.8% BELOW their September 2005 record high. The year-over-year rate increased for the 5th consecutive month. The Inventory of Homes Available for Sale ROSE by 9.2% to 2,140k but are still 3.6% BELOW their year ago level. Foreclosures and short sales accounted for 7% of April sales, down from 8% in March and 10% a year ago. All-cash sales were 24% of transactions in April, down from 25% in March and unchanged from a year ago. Because inventories increased more than sales, the Months Supply ROSE to 4.7 months from 4.4 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 4.2% ABOVE their year ago levels while median home prices are 6.3% ABOVE their year ago levels. There has been a moderate increase in home prices over the past 12 months.
Article by contingentmacro