January’s existing home sales

it almost looks like government agencies took the week off, because the only widely watched report that was released this past week was the Existing Home Sales Report for January from the National Association of Realtors (NAR)…other than that, we also had the release of the Kansas City Fed manufacturing survey for February, covering western Missouri, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming and northern New Mexico, which reported its broadest composite index rose to +17, up from +16 in January and +13 in December, readings that indicate an ongoing expansion in that region’s manufacturing…

January Existing Home Sales Fall 3.2%

the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that existing home sales fell by 3.2% from December to January on a seasonally adjusted basis, projecting that 5.38 million existing homes would sell over an entire year if the January home sales pace were extrapolated over that year, a pace that was also 4.8% below the annual sales rate projected in January of a year ago…December sales are now shown to have been at a 5.56 million annual rate, revised down from the 5.57  million annual rate indicated by last month’s report…the NAR also reported that the median sales price for all existing-home types was $240,500 in January, 5.8% higher than in January a year earlier, which they report as “the 71st straight month of year-over-year gains“…..the NAR press release, which is titled “Existing-Home Sales Slip 3.2 Percent in January“, is in easy to read plain English, so if you’re interested in the details on housing inventories, cash sales, distressed sales, first time home buyers, etc., you can easily find them in that press release…as sales of existing properties do not add to our national output, neither these home sales nor the prices for which these homes sell are included in GDP, except insofar as real estate, local government and banking services are rendered during the selling process…

since this report is entirely seasonally adjusted and at a not very informative annual rate, we usually look at the raw data overview (pdf) to see what actually happened during the month…this unadjusted data indicates that roughly 313,000 homes sold in January, down by 26.7% from the 427,000 homes that sold in December, and down 1.9% from the 319,000 homes that sold in January of last year, so we can see the effect of a large seasonal adjustment…that same pdf indicates that the median home selling price for all housing types fell 2.4%, from a revised $246,500 in December to $240,500 in January, while the average home sales price was $282,100, down 2.2% from the $288,300 average sales price in December, but up 4.7% from the $269,500 average home sales price of January a year ago…for both seasonally adjusted and unadjusted graphs and additional commentary on this report, see the following two posts from Bill McBride at Calculated Risk: NAR: “Existing-Home Sales Slip 3.2 Percent in January” and A Few Comments on January Existing Home Sales


(the above is the synopsis that accompanied my regular sunday morning links emailing, which in turn was mostly selected from my weekly blog post on the global glass onion…if you’d be interested in receiving my weekly emailing of selected links, most from the aforementioned GGO posts, contact me…)   

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