As Existing Home Sales Gain in May, Don't Draw Any Conclusions Yet

by: Tim Plaehn

Here are my quick thoughts on the National Association of Realtors existing home sales report for May. First, the numbers showed small but positive gains from April. Second, the national mean and median prices increased for the first time in a year. Here are the numbers:

  • May seasonally adjusted housing sales vs. April: +2.4%
  • May non-adjusted sales vs. April: +9.2%
  • Months inventory supply, May vs. April: -5.0%
  • May median sales price vs. April: +3.8%
  • Mean sales price change, May vs. April: +3.2%

Adjusted sales numbers for May were still 2.9% the total for 2008, but marks the 3rd increase month-over-month out of the last 4 months. The report shows the median sales price in the west fell by 3.2% vs. April but this is an improvement compared to the March to April decline of 10.2%. I have written earlier about the positive price numbers for May in California.

I often say the one month does not a trend make, so we will not read too much into these numbers. Next month, maybe.