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Existing Home Sales: Tight Market Slows Sales

May 24, 2018
Bottom Line: Existing home sales rose less than expected in April, slowing from March's 5.60 million annualized pace to a 3-month low of 5.46 million annualized units. While months supply increased with the slower pace of sales in April, overall inventory levels remain very tight -- the median days a home stayed on the market was at a its lowest level since April 2011 (when the data started). Realtors attribute much of the slower sales activity to tight supply conditions, continued upward pressure on prices (median prices were up to nearly 258k, up 5.3% year-on-year in April), and higher mortgage rates hampering affordability.

Existing Home Sales FELL by 2.5% in April to 5.46 million, compared with market expectations for a decline to 5.55 million. There were no revisions to prior data.

Home re-sales are now 1.4% BELOW their year ago level and are 24.7% BELOW their September 2005 record high.

The Inventory of Homes Available for Sale ROSE by 9.8% to 1,800k but are still 6.3% BELOW their year ago level. Because inventories increased while sales declined, the Months Supply ROSE to 4.0 months from 3.5 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'.