2017 Economic Calendar
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Existing Home Sales  
Released On 9/20/2017 10:00:00 AM For Aug, 2017
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Existing Home Sales - Level - SAAR5.440 M5.480 M5.350 M to 5.550 M5.350 M
Existing Home Sales - M/M Change-1.3 %-1.7 %
Existing Home Sales - Yr/Yr Change2.1 %0.2 %

Reflecting hurricane weakness in Houston, existing home sales came in at the low estimate in August, at a 5.350 million annualized rate for a 1.7 percent monthly decline. Sales in the South fell 5.7 percent in the month to a 2.150 million rate though sales in the West also fell, down 4.8 percent to 1.200 million. These were offset by a 2.4 percent gain in the Midwest to a 1.280 million rate and a 10.8 percent jump in the least active housing region which is the Northeast to a 720,000 rate.

The split between single-family homes and condos shows a 2.1 percent decline for the former to a 4.740 million rate and a 1.7 percent gain for the latter to 610,000. Year-on-year, single-family sales are barely in the plus column at 0.4 percent with condos negative at minus 1.6 percent. Total sales are up fractionally at 0.2 percent (note that year-on-year sales in Houston fell 25 percent in the month).

Prices have been doing better than sales, at a year-on-year gain of 5.6 percent. But August was a weak month for prices, down 1.8 percent on the median to $253,500 for the second straight decline. Lack of supply is a major factor in the housing market, down 6.5 percent year-on-year for resales at 1.880 million which on a monthly basis is down 2.1 percent. Supply relative to sales is at a tight 4.2 months for a fourth month in a row.

The National Association of Realtors, which compiles the report, notes that fast conditions remain in play with days on the market declining and that first-time buyers are still being held back by high prices. They expect hurricane effects to hold down the data for the next 4 to 5 months before a bounce back begins in 2018.

Housing was having a hard time building steam going into Hurricanes Harvey and Irma following which the sector doesn't look to be a significant contributor to the year-end economy. Watch next week on the calendar for the new home sales report.

Consensus Outlook
Existing home sales have been more disappointing than not, falling 1.3 percent in July to a 5.440 million annualized rate that, nevertheless, is still near expansion highs. Condo sales weakened in July as did sales of single-family homes. But forecasters do see some improvement for August with the consensus at 5.480 million despite Hurricane Harvey at month end. Note that sales of new homes, which have also been soft yet near expansion highs, won't be released until the following week.

Existing home sales tally the number of previously constructed homes, condominiums and co-ops in which a sale closed during the month. Existing homes (also known as home resales) account for a larger share of the market than new homes and indicate housing market trends.  Why Investors Care
Existing home sales reached a peak in mid-2005. Sales picked up during the recovery until a slower economy cut into sales in late 2013 and early 2014. But over much of the recovery, lift came from the Fed's quantitative easing to lower mortgage rates. Mortgage rate shown is rate on 30-year conventional mortgages.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2017 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/242/223/224/215/246/217/248/249/2010/2011/2112/20
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

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