Existing Home Sales: Rebound Accelerated in July

August 21, 2020
Bottom Line: The rebound in existing home sales accelerated in July as the move away from denser, urban living towards less dense, single-family living continued in the wake of the pandemic. While sales of both single-family and condos/coops were higher, the months' supply figures confirm a bias towards single-family with inventory falling to a near-record low of just 3 months of sales in that sector. The condo/co-op segment was tighter but stood at about 4 months. Sales in condos/co-ops were flat versus year-ago levels, while single-family sales were up nearly 9%. Overall this report confirmed a major secular shift underway in housing and also that housing activity will be an important driver of economic growth in the recovery. Existing Home Sales ROSE by 24.7% in July to 5.86 million, compared with market expectations for an increase to 5.41 million. The prior month was revised down from 4.72 to 4.70 million. Home re-sales are now 8.7% ABOVE their year-ago level but are 19.2% BELOW their September 2005 record high. The Inventory of Homes Available for Sale FELL by 2.6% to 1,500k and are now 21.1% BELOW their year ago level. Because inventories declined while sales increased, the Months Supply FELL to 3.1 months from 3.9 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 6.5% ABOVE their year ago levels while median home prices are 8.5% ABOVE their year-ago levels.