Article Attachment

The attached file contains this articles commentary as well as tables and charts of the data.
Download Attachment

Existing Home Sales: Gains Plateauing

September 22, 2021
Bottom Line: Sales fell in August, as expected, with the robust trend showing continued signs of plateauing.  Sales in 2020 averaged 6.65 million units but have slowed to 5.9 million annualized units over the six months ended in August. Tight supply conditions and steadily higher prices were the themes in the 2nd half of 2020 and the 1st half of 2021, but those trends have been easing slightly.  While inventories were lower again in August, the trend over the last three- and six months is marginally higher.  The median sales price at nearly $357k is still sharply above year-ago levels but is a touch lower over the last three months.  Overall, the housing market remains tight, but the pace of activity has decelerated, suggesting the housing tailwind for GDP growth will be notably lower in the 2nd Half of 2021.  Moreover, the tight supply conditions in the existing home market appear to be easing just slightly.
Existing Home Sales FELL by 2.0% in August to 5.88 million, compared with market expectations for a decline to 5.89 million. The prior month was revised up from 5.99 to 6.00 million.  Home re-sales are now 1.5% BELOW their year-ago level.
The Inventory of Homes Available for Sale
FELL by 1.5% to 1,290k and are now 13.4% BELOW  their year-ago level. Because inventories declined while sales declined, the Months Supply ROSE to 2.6 months from 2.6 months.  This is BELOW the 6-month level that is considered 'normal'.
Home Prices ROSE compared to their year-ago levels. Average home prices are 9.8% ABOVE their year-ago levels while median home prices are 14.9% ABOVE their year-ago levels.