December’s existing home sales

the only major report that was released this past week was the existing home sales report for December from the National Association of Realtors (NAR); the regular Census bureau releases of the advance report on durable goods for December and the December report on new home sales, which had both been scheduled for Friday, were both postponed due to the shutdown…with the shutdown now ending, the postponed releases will presumably start being assembled next week; those should include the New Home Sales report for November from the Census Bureau, which is now two reports in arrears… meanwhile, reports such as the advance estimate of 4th quarter GDP from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which had been scheduled for this coming Wednesday, will presumably still have to be postponed until the reports that feed into it are completed…we should know more by next week, when the BEA and Census employees return to work…

this week did see the release of two more regional Fed manufacturing surveys for January: the Richmond Fed Survey of Manufacturing Activity, covering an area that includes Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas, the District of Columbia and West Virginia, reported its broadest composite index rose to -2 in January from -8 in December, still suggesting an ongoing slowdown in that region’s manufacturing, and the Kansas City Fed manufacturing survey for January, covering western Missouri, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming and northern New Mexico, which reported its broadest composite index slipped to 5 in January from 6 in December but down from 15 in November, indicating a slower expansion of that region’s manufacturing…

December Existing Home Sales Down 6.4% As Price Increases Shrink

the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that their seasonally adjusted count of existing home sales fell by 6.4% from November to December, the 6th decrease in eight months, projecting that 4.99 million existing homes would sell over an entire year if the December home sales pace were extrapolated over that year, a pace that was 10.3% below the annual sales rate they projected in December of a year ago…November sales are now shown at a 5.33 million annual rate, revised up from the 5.32 million annual rate indicated by last month’s report…total existing home sales for 2018 added up to 5.34 million, 3.1% fewer than the 5.51 million homes that were sold in 2017…the NAR also reported that the median sales price for all existing-home types was $253,600 in December, which was down from $257,300 in November, but 2.9% higher than in December a year earlier, which they report as “the 82nd straight month of year-over-year gains“…..the NAR press release, which is titled “Existing-Home Sales See 6.4 Percent Drop in December“, 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 for 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 like to look at the raw data overview (pdf) to see what actually transpired during the month…this unadjusted data indicates that roughly 377,000 homes sold in December, down by 7.1% from the 406,000 homes that sold in November, and down by 11.7% from the 427,000 homes that sold in December of last year, so we can see that the seasonal adjustments did not have much of an impact this time….that same pdf indicates that the median home selling price for all housing types fell 1.4%, from a revised $257,300 in November to $253,600 in December, while the average home sales price was $292,800, down 1.1% from the $296,000 average sales price in November, but up 1.6% from the $288,300 average home sales price of December 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 Decreased to 4.99 million in December and Comments on December 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 picked from the aforementioned GGO posts, contact me…)      
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