Existing Home Sales

This monthly indicator from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) publishes the volume of existing home sales and sales prices of those homes. Home types include single-family, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops. It’s worth following as purchases of existing homes reflect buyers’ confidence in their employment and future income growth. Home prices have a significant wealth effect on the economy as rising prices lead to an increase in consumer spending while falling prices can result in a notable decline in consumer behavior.

This release is typically published four to five weeks after the month being reported ends and usually has a strong correlation with Pending Home Sales (also published by NAR). The report includes national figures, breakdowns by region, unsold inventory in months, and the median and average sales prices nationwide.

This morning’s Existing Home Sales report for April came in at 4.28 million, down 3.4% from March and slightly worse than forecast. The median existing-home sales price slipped again in April, down 1.7% as the inventory of unsold homes increased 7.2% month-over-month, the equivalent of 2.9 months’ supply. Sales receded in all four regions.

Here’s an excerpt from the latest press release:

“Home sales are bouncing back and forth but remain above recent cyclical lows,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “The combination of job gains, limited inventory and fluctuating mortgage rates over the last several months have created an environment of push-pull housing demand.”

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