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Existing Home Sales in December: 4.87 million SAAR, Inventory up 1.6% Year-over-year

The NAR reports: December Existing-Home Sales Rise, 2013 Strongest in Seven Years

 

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 1.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.87 million in December from a downwardly revised 4.82 million in November, but are 0.6 percent below the 4.90 million-unit level in December 2012.

 

For all of 2013, there were 5.09 million sales, which is 9.1 percent higher than 2012. It was the strongest performance since 2006 when sales reached an unsustainably high 6.48 million at the close of the housing boom.

 

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Total housing inventory at the end of December fell 9.3 percent to 1.86 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 4.6-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 5.1 months in November. Unsold inventory is 1.6 percent above a year ago, when there was a 4.5-month supply.

 

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Adverse weather reportedly delayed closings in many areas. Twenty-eight percent of homes sold in December were on the market for less than a month, down from 35 percent in November, which appears to be a weather impact.
Existing Home SalesClick on graph for larger image.

 

This graph shows existing home sales, on a Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) basis since 1993.

 

Sales in December 2013 (4.87 million SAAR) were 1.0% higher than last month, and were 0.6% below the December 2012 rate.

 

The second graph shows nationwide inventory for existing homes.

 

Existing Home InventoryAccording to the NAR, inventory declined to 1.86 million in December from 2.05 million in November.   Inventory is not seasonally adjusted, and inventory usually increases from the seasonal lows in December and January, and peaks in mid-to-late summer.

 

The third graph shows the year-over-year (YoY) change in reported existing home inventory and months-of-supply. Since inventory is not seasonally adjusted, it really helps to look at the YoY change. Note: Months-of-supply is based on the seasonally adjusted sales and not seasonally adjusted inventory.

 

Year-over-year Inventory Inventory increased 1.6% year-over-year in December compared to December 2012.   This year-over-year increase in inventory suggests inventory bottomed earlier this year.

 

Months of supply was at 4.6 months in December.

 

This was slightly below to expectations of sales of 4.90 million.  For existing home sales, the key number is inventory - and inventory is still low, but up year-over-year.    I'll have more later ...
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