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Existing Home Sales: Slight Uptick in Feb, Not Enough To Turn Trends

March 21, 2018
Bottom Line: Existing home sales rebounded in February after two straight months of declines. Home re-sales have averaged 5.49 million over the past 3 months and 5.51 million over the past 6 months, indicating the trend is still mostly sideways, though, amid overall tight supply conditions. Inventories of homes available for sale did manage to climb modestly last month but overall remain low and are trending lower. On a year-over-year basis, prices are still modestly higher.

Existing Home Sales ROSE by 3.0% in February to 5.54 million, compared with market expectations for an increase to 5.40 million. There were no revisions to prior data.

Home re-sales are now 1.1% ABOVE their year ago level but are 23.6% BELOW their September 2005 record high.

The Inventory of Homes Available for Sale ROSE by 4.6% to 1,590k but are still 8.1% BELOW their year ago level. Because inventories increased while sales increased, the Months Supply ROSE to 3.4 months from 3.4 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 4.3% ABOVE their year ago levels while median home prices are 5.9% ABOVE their year ago levels.