Sales Fell in March for Existing-Home Sales
This morning’s release of the March Existing-Home Sales showed that sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.01 million units from the previous month’s revised 6.24 million.
The Investing.com consensus was for 6.19 million. The latest number represents a 3.7% decrease from the previous month.
Here is an excerpt from today’s report from the National Association of Realtors.
WASHINGTON (April 22, 2021) – Existing-home sales fell in March, marking two consecutive months of declines, according to the National Association of Realtors®. The month of March saw record-high home prices and gains. While each of the four major U.S. regions experienced month-over-month drops, all four areas welcomed year-over-year gains in home sales.
Total existing-home sales,1 https://www.nar.realtor/existing-home-sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, decreased 3.7% from February to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.01 million in March. Sales overall climbed year-over-year, up 12.3% from a year ago (5.35 million in March 2020).
“Consumers are facing much higher home prices, rising mortgage rates, and falling affordability, however, buyers are still actively in the market,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. [Full Report]
For a longer-term perspective, here is a snapshot of the data series, which comes from the National Association of Realtors. The data since January 1999 was previously available in the St. Louis Fed’s FRED repository and is now only available for the last twelve months.
Over this time frame, we clearly see the Real Estate Bubble, which peaked in 2005 and then fell dramatically. Sales were volatile for the first year or so following the Great Recession.
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The Population-Adjusted Reality
Now let’s examine the data with a simple population adjustment. The Census Bureau’s mid-month population estimates show a 19.1% increase in the US population since the turn of the century. The snapshot below is an overlay of the NAR’s annualized estimates with a population-adjusted version.
Existing-home sales are 14.9% above the NAR’s January 2000 estimate. The population-adjusted version is 2.4% below the turn-of-the-century sales.
Existing-Home Sales Median Prices for Single Family Homes
We’ve added a chart for the last 12 months of Existing-home sales median prices for single-family homes for reference.
The next release of existing home sales will be on May 21.