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Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in January

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From housing economist Tom Lawler: Early Read on Existing Home Sales in January

Based on publicly-available state and/or local realtor/MLS reports released through today, I project that US existing home sales as estimated by the National Association of Realtors ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.60 million, up 2.0% from December’s preliminary pace and up 2.4% from last January’s seasonally-adjusted pace. Unadjusted sales should show a larger YOY gain, reflecting the higher business day count this January compared to last January. Remember that in the January report the NAR will update its seasonal factors (and as a result its seasonally adjusted sales figures) both for last year and for the previous several years.

Realtor data suggest that the YOY decline in existing homes for sale was larger in January than in December, and I project that the NAR’s inventory estimate will be 1,650, unchanged from the preliminary December estimate and down 9.3% from last January. Finally, realtor data suggest that the median existing SF home sales price in January was up about 6.1% from last January.

CR Note: The NAR is scheduled to release January existing home sales on Wednesday, February 22nd. The consensus is the NAR will report sales of 5.55 million SAAR.
Calculated Risk

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