Existing-Home Sales Climb in July

This morning's release of the July Existing-Home Sales showed that sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.99 million units from the previous month's revised 5.87 million. The Investing.com consensus was for 5.8 million. The latest number represents a 2.0% increase from the previous month and a 1.5% increase YoY.

Here is an excerpt from today's report from the National Association of Realtors.

WASHINGTON (August 23, 2021) – Existing-home sales rose in July, marking two consecutive months of increases, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Three of the four major U.S. regions recorded modest month-over-month gains, and the fourth remained level. Figures varied from a year-over-year perspective as two regions saw gains, one witnessed a decline and one was unchanged.

Total existing-home sales,1 https://www.nar.realtor/existing-home-sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, grew 2.0% from June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.99 million in July. Sales inched up year-over-year, increasing 1.5% from a year ago (5.90 million in July 2020).

"We see inventory beginning to tick up, which will lessen the intensity of multiple offers," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. "Much of the home sales growth is still occurring in the upper-end markets, while the mid- to lower-tier areas aren't seeing as much growth because there are still too few starter homes available." [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.

Existing Home Sales

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.

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 19.3% 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 Growth

Existing-home sales are 14.5% above the NAR's January 2000 estimate. The population-adjusted version is 2.9% 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 September 22.