Existing-Home Sales Up Again In November

This morning's release of the November Existing-Home Sales was up from the previous month's 5.22M to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.32 million units. The Investing.com consensus was for 5.20 million. The latest number represents a 1.9% increase from the previous month and a 7.0% decrease year-over-year.

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

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says two consecutive months of increases is a welcomed sign for the market. “The market conditions in November were mixed, with good signs of stabilizing home sales compared to recent months, though down significantly from one year ago. Rising inventory is clearly taming home price appreciation.” [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 from January 2018. It can be found here.

(Click on image to enlarge)

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 an 18.5% 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.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Existing Home Sales Growth

Existing-home sales are 1.7% above the NAR's January 2000 estimate. The population-adjusted version is 13.2% 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.

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