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Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in May

by Calculated Risk on 6/16/2022 03:33:00 PM

From housing economist Tom Lawler:

Based on publicly-available local realtor/MLS reports released across the country through today, I project that existing home sales as estimated by the National Association of Realtors ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million in May, down 4.6% from April’s preliminary pace and down 9.6% from last May’s seasonally adjusted pace. Unadjusted sales should show a smaller YOY % decline, reflecting this May’s higher business-day count compared to last May’s.

Local realtor reports, as well as reports from national inventory trackers, suggest that the inventory of existing homes for sale last month was up slightly from a year earlier. However, the NAR’s estimate may not show the same increase as other reports, many of which exclude listings with pending contracts. E.g., the Realtor.com report for May showed that listings excluding those with pending contracts were up 8.0% from last May, while listings including pending contracts were down 3.9% YOY. (Pending listings in the Realtor.com report were down 12.2% from last May.). The NAR’s inventory estimate has tracked the Realtor.com total inventory measure more closely that the “ex-pendings” inventory measure. (Note also that the Realtor.com inventory number reflects average listings during the month, while the NAR inventory number is an end-of-month estimate.)

Finally, local realtor/MLS reports suggest the median existing single-family home sales price last month was up by about 14.7% from last May.

CR Note: The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is scheduled to release May existing home sales on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, at 10:00 AM ET. The consensus is for 5.41 million SAAR.

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