Existing Home Sales: Slower September After Stronger Summer

October 22, 2019
Bottom Line: Existing home sales fell modestly in September to their lowest level since June. Home re-sales have averaged 5.43 million over the past 3 months and 5.36 million over the past 6 months, suggesting that the housing market is still improving modestly. Inventories of homes available for sale was steady; and the trend in months’ supply rose slightly. On a year-over-year basis, prices are still rising modestly. Overall, while weaker than expected in September, the trend in existing home sales is consistent with most housing data showing continued modest improvement after 2018's weakness. Existing Home Sales FELL by 2.2% in September to 5.38 million, compared with market expectations for a decline to 5.45 million. The prior month was revised up from 5.49 to 5.50 million. Home re-sales are now 3.9% ABOVE their year ago level but are 25.8% BELOW their September 2005 record high. The Inventory of Homes Available for Sale was UNCHANGED at 1,830k and are now 2.7% BELOW their year ago level. Because inventories were UNCHANGED while sales declined, the Months Supply ROSE to 4.1 months from 4.0 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 5.9% ABOVE their year ago levels.