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Existing Home Sales: Supply Remains Low

February 22, 2017
Bottom Line: 2017 started on a strong note for existing home sales with sales up nearly 4% and median prices up nearly 7% from a year ago. Low inventory persists, though, with homes available for sale falling every month for 20 months, now down 7% from a year ago. Months supply held at 3.6 months with both single-family and co-op/condo supply near record lows. Indicators of potential upward price pressure remain as properties sold in January were on the market for just 50 days, down from 52 days in December and 64 days a year ago.

Existing Home Sales ROSE by 3.3% in January to 5.69 million, compared with market expectations for an increase to 5.55 million. The prior month was revised up from 5.49 to 5.51 million. Home re-sales are now 3.8% ABOVE their year ago level but are 21.5% BELOW their September 2005 record high.

  • 42.8% of single family homes sold were priced in between 100k to 250k and 31.2% of single family homes sold were priced in between 250k to 500k.
  • Single family home sales are up 4.9% year-over-year for prices in between 100k to 250k and are up 17.2% for prices in between 250k to 500k.

The Inventory of Homes Available for Sale ROSE by 2.4% to 1,690k but are still 7.1% BELOW their year ago level. Because inventories increased while sales increased more, the Months Supply FELL to 3.6 months from 3.6 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 5.2% ABOVE their year ago levels while median home prices are 7.1% ABOVE their year ago levels.